Sony Producer Tried to Edit 'Holy Bible' Out of New Film 'Soul Surfer'

This might be the most revealing anecdote about the intolerant culture of present-day Hollywood in, well, ever. Get this: some genius producer at Sony digitally removed the words Holy Bible from a Holy Bible in a scene because he thought the sight of a Bible might hurt the film’s appeal beyond the Christian community — probably because he’s projecting and assuming everyone’s as bigoted as Hollywood. 

After some pressure from the family on which the film is based, he did put it back, but who thinks this way (he asked himself rhetorically). Good grief, there are all kinds mainstream films today where you see glimpses of various social and political symbols. Remember all that obnoxious PETA junk in Lethal Weapon 2, a movie I’ve only watched about a million times. But how many films these days show teenagers with the chicken track peace symbol on their book bag or a Greenpeace poster on the wall?

But what does get digitally removed? The best-selling book in history. And what kind of movie does the best-selling book in history get digitally removed from? A movie based on the true story of a young Christian surfer who was attacked by a shark and credits her faith in God with her recovery. You can’t make this stuff up.

Now, below is that part of this story. But don’t go away, because this story somehow gets dumber. Via Paul Bond at THR:

Tom Hamilton prayed for the best but expected the worst. He and his family, all devoted Christians, thought they had lost their bid to keep an overt reference to the Bible in the upcoming film Soul Surfer, based on the true story of Hamilton’s daughter Bethany, who, at age 13, had her arm chewed off by a tiger shark in Kauai but returned to her board to pursue her dream of becoming a pro surfer.

When religious leaders were shown an early version of the Sony movie [Soul Surfer], set for release in April, the words “Holy Bible” had been digitally removed from the cover of the book in a scene depicting Hamilton reading in a hospital where his daughter was fighting for her life. Hamilton says producer David Zelon, an executive at Mandalay Pictures, had lobbied to tone down the film’s Christianity in an effort to broaden its appeal to non-Christian audiences. But the Hamilton family objected, and when they attended a subsequent screening, they were pleasantly surprised with what they saw.  

“I could see the words bright and clear,” Hamilton says.  “I looked at my wife and whispered, ‘Thank you God, they put it back.’ ”

Brace yourself for what’s coming:

In Soul Surfer … country singer Carrie Underwood plays a spiritual mentor to a tight-knit community of Christian surfers. In a scene in which Underwood’s character quotes scripture, some were fine with the verse but didn’t want her to acknowledge that it came from the Bible.

“Can you imagine if a character said, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,’ but they acted like it was their own, like it didn’t come from President Kennedy?” Hamilton asks. “This would have been the same thing. So they relented on that point.”

In other words, in order to avoid acknowledging that Underwood’s character is quoting scripture from the best-selling book in history, these bigoted, intolerant lame-brains wanted to plagiarize the Bible — the Bible! –by what, having her spout off like she was some kind of Joan the Baptist Surfer?

More proof of the ignorance of bigotry.

And I dare anyone to try and pitch me on the idea that “broadening the appeal” had a damn thing to do with the motivations behind any of this.  This is the same studio that released the anti-Christian “The DaVinci Code” and “Angel’s and Demons,” and that sucker punch-laden (if you’re a rightie) “Julia & Julia.”  

Help me out here. What should we be more offended by, the bigotry or the fact that they think we’re stupid enough to buy the “broad appeal” spin?

Truth be told, I’m not offended in the least. In fact, I’m thrilled. This is a fantastic story filled with the disinfectant of sunlight. Major kudos to the Hollywood Reporter and Paul Bond for telling it.

Crossposted at Big Hollywood