Photo Courtesy of Reuters
Actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth is defending her upcoming ABC show "GCB," formerly known "Good Christian B*tches," saying that people should give the show a chance before judging it.
The upcoming series has culled much controversy ahead of its premiere this Sunday, not only for its title – based on the book of the same name by Kim Gatlin – but also for its allegedly demeaning depiction of Christian women as "catty, botoxed gossipers," according to the American Family Association.
"I think people should give it a chance," Chenoweth told The Hollywood Reporter. "You just can't judge a book by its cover."
"I certainly wouldn't do anything that would make fun of my own faith," she added.
The Emmy and Tony award winner who calls herself a "non-judgmental, liberal Christian," was born and raised in Oklahoma, hailing Southern Baptist roots.
She attributes her success today to the church as well, having performed Gospel songs throughout local churches at an early age.
"I auditioned for a solo in church and got it," she previously shared in an interview with Parade.com. "I was about seven and I sang a song called, 'Jesus, I heard You Had a Big House' and I remember people standing up at the end and me thinking, 'Oh, I think I'm going to like this.' That's how it all began."
Chenoweth has been praised for her roles in Broadway, including Sally in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North in "Wicked."
For two decades, the 43-year-old star has appeared in theater, television and film.
Last year, she announced she would be starring in a new role in ABC's "GCB," playing Carlene Cockburn, a former nerd turned beauty queen.
The premise is based on a group of women from Dallas, who grew up in the church together, and encounter new problems when former mean girl Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) moves back to their hometown.
When ABC first began advertising the new series, many raised their arms up in anger, leading to the change in name, though the series will air under its original title, "Good Christian B*tches" in Australia and New Zealand.
Despite the switch up in title, however, the American Family Association stated that the show would still "mock people of faith."
But Chenoweth disagreed, and said that more than anything "GCB" was a "love letter to Dallas" and a "chocolate cake."
"I think it's really funny," she added to THR. "I remember growing up, it was always the same woman who got the solos in the church choir. And there's always the woman at the bake sale or the church dinner who wanted to outcook everyone. The thing is, just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you're perfect."
"We are all human. And so this show shows the humanity of it, and I love it. I'm one of them. I grew up in that world ... it could take place in a temple, in a community, but we just set ours in a church."
"GCB" premiers this Sunday, March 4, on ABC at 10 p.m. ET.