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There Hulu goes again.
Deadline reported Tuesday that the streaming service is planning a “docuseries” titled “The Secret Lives of Mormon Wives.”
“Secret Lives” is a reference to women who are “swingers,” a term for people who swap sexual partners, which makes the title sensational and offensive on multiple levels, beginning with the fact that adultery is roundly unacceptable to Americans and extending to the fact that it wouldn’t be representative of the doctrine and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In the past 21 months, Hulu has released three other series purportedly about “Mormons.” Two were about murderers — one show released in early January includes an episode titled “the Mormon Manson.” The third was about a mother who apparently left the church to marry another mother.
Disturbingly, this Hulu trend comes at a time when a majority of people around the world are saying they are tired of false religious stereotypes.
The 2022 Global Faith and Media Study by Harris X asked nearly 10,000 people in 18 countries and in five languages whether religious stereotypes should get more attention, less attention or the same level of attention as other stereotypes.
The poll found that 78% of respondents said religious stereotypes need to be addressed as much or more than gender and race stereotypes.
“People want stereotypes to change. Religion is the most sensationalized, the most stereotyped,” Radiant Foundation executive director Angela Redding said Tuesday during a panel discussion at the 2024 IRF Summit on international religious freedom.
“What we see (from Hollywood) is political, it’s divisive and often sensationalized and stereotyped,” she said, rather than accurate portrayals of faith as ennobling personal, lived experiences.
Redding said 61% of the poll’s respondents said media perpetuates faith-based stereotypes rather than protecting against them.
“Everyone’s saying, ‘Stop stereotyping my faith,’ and Hollywood doesn’t see that,” Redding told the Deseret News. “News doesn’t see that, necessarily. I don’t think it’s malicious. I don’t think news doesn’t want to report about it. I just think there’s a lack of education. There’s a lack of faith fluency. They’re just not informed about how to accurately represent different religions. And so they rely on stereotypes instead of being accurate.”
Actress and producer Marisol Nichols resonated with the data from the study by Harris X and the Radiant Foundation.
She told Redding during their IRF Summit panel discussion that the study’s findings should add to growing interest in Hollywood for faith-related material after the financial success of movies like “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Sound of Freedom.”
Nichols said Hollywood studios have recently been buzzing about faith audiences and faith-based funding sources.
“I’m producing a couple of projects, and literally the conversations are, can we have an element of faith to it so that we can go after faith-based funding, because it’s a proven model, because it’s a proven audience,” she said.
“And if the audience shows up, (studios) make money.”
My recent stories
- Republican, Democrat both warn against rise of antisemitism (Jan. 31)
- Mike Pence has a message for the religiously oppressed worldwide: ‘Never give up hope’ (Jan. 30)
About the church
- The church announced that seminary will change. See what the new “life preparation lessons” are.
- At the funeral of a teenage girl, President Jeffrey R. Holland explained why the righteous are not spared tribulation.
- “Discipleship is a work in progress,” Elder Gary E. Stevenson said during a worldwide discussion for youth.
- The Church Educational System is creating new “low-pressure” events to help “reset the culture of dating.”
- Two people charged in string of Utah County church burglaries face 12 more burglary charges.
- The Red Cliffs Utah Temple open house is underway. See the first interior images and a video.
- The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Knoxville Tennessee Temple was held.
- The First Presidency released the site locations for two temples in Peru.
What I’m reading
- This group sent 80,000 postcards to Latter-day Saints. Here’s what they learned.
- How a Broadway actress explained temple garments to her castmates.
- Faith is for the public sphere, a Harvard professor said at a BYU Forum.
- Does Utah think TikTok is addictive? Boy, does it! Here’s what new court documents say.
- A columnist wrote a piece titled, “Teaching children religious truth is not indoctrination.”
- A survey offered new answers to an old question: What do religious “nones” believe?
- I’m grateful to see donations pouring in to replace the destroyed Jackie Robinson statue in Wichita, Kansas.