Did you grow up on Veggie Tales? I was involved in Children’s ministry when Veggie Tales’ first direct to video production Where’s God When I’m S-Scared? found its way to my church, in 1993, and all the Sunday school teachers got a break by showing it on an old 19″ portable TV with a VCR the size of a refrigerator.
Big Idea Productions, creators of Veggie Tales, went bankrupt in 2003. The Big Idea production company and characters were sold, licensed and resold several times. Veggie tales appeared on NBC from 2003-2006. NBC edited out references to God and changing the sign-off message from “Remember kids, God made you special, and He loves you very much!” to “Thanks for coming to my house today, kids. See you next week! Good-bye!”
Veggie Tales would move to Netflix and produce two series Veggie Tales in the House and Veggie Tales in the City. The rights to Veggie Tales currently are owned by DreamWorks, a subsidiary company of Amblin Partners. NBCUniversal owns Big Idea and is a minority stakeholder in Amblin. Yes, boys and girls, Veggie Tales is corporate. It was recently announced that a new Veggie Tales series would appear on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBS)
Phil Vischer co-creator and voice of Bob the Tomato was interviewed by the Christian Post about the revival for TBS, and he expressed a fear that Veggie Tales might have to address the LGBTQ+ issue.
The Christian Post reports, “Phil Vischer says Christian filmmakers will have to start addressing LGBT issues and same-sex relationships from a biblical perspective because children are already seeing these storylines in secular movies and TV shows.”
For now, Vischer said he will continue to present biblical truths in his TV shows, movies, and books in contrast to secular programming.
“If I get pressure from Hollywood to show two men getting married because we’ve all decided it’s right and correct, my pushback is: ‘No, I won’t. Because that’s not what I believe is best for kids,’”
The key, of course, is that Vischer will continue to present “biblical truths” in his TV shows, movies, and books. Vischer is free to present what he believes to be biblically true on his shows. However, Veggie Tales isn’t his show anymore. Vicher and co-creator Mike Nawrocki, who plays Larry the Cucumber, signed on as writers and voice actors for the latest incarnation. They don’t own or run the show.
This means if NBCUniversal or DreamWorks decide they want to include LGBTQ+ character, Vicher and Nawrocki only recourse is to quit. The show will go on. Vicher, in his version of Christianity, is afraid of normalizing the LGBTQ+ community for kids.
I can’t understand why. After all, the continual denial of the existence of the LGBTQ+ community would be a falsehood. If I remember my Veggie Tales, Larry-Boy! and the Fib from Outer Space! taught me lying is a no-no.
Even if Vicher interprets the Bible in a way that teaches gay people are sinners, the Veggie Tales episode Are You My Neighbor taught me to love my neighbor even if I think they are weird.
The morality of the Bible teaches us to love our neighbor, love our enemies, and not to judge others.
Admitting to reality and showing respect and inclusion instead of discrimination can’t possibly be bad for kids. In fact, it seems downright Biblical. hey Phil, I’ll help you out, if the powers that be who own Veggie Tales decide to be LGBTQ+ inclusive, you can write a script where Bob the tomato admits he’s a fruit and not a veggie. Larry can show acceptance of his fruity friend. What do you think?
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