The Adult Swim television network has greenlighted a new live-action scripted comedy series called "Black Jesus" that will follow a modern–day Jesus character as he attempts to spread love and kindness throughout his Compton, Calif., neighborhood.
The new series was created by Aaron McGruder, the cartoonist best known for his work on "The Boondocks," a comic strip and television series following the lives of two African American boys living with their grandfather. Accompanying McGruder on the new "Black Jesus" project will be actor Gerald "Slink" Johnson from "Grand Theft Auto V" playing the role of Jesus, as well as fellow actors Charlie Murphy, Corey Holcomb, Kali Hawk, Andra Fuller and John Witherspoon.
According to Deadline, the Turner-owned Adult Swim network has kept production of the new series relatively quiet. It was announced in May 2013 that McGruder would be creating a new live-action series, but the premise of the series had yet to be revealed. McGruder will produce his new series through his 5 Mutts Productions, and the live-action comedy will premiere later in 2014. Other producers behind the series include Mike Clattenberg, Norman Aladjem and John Bravakis.
Announcement of the series comes months after Fox News' Megyn Kelly stirred controversy when she described both Jesus Christ and Santa Claus as being racially white. "For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white," Kelly said on her show, "The Kelly File,." "Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change, you know?"
"I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure, that's a verifiable fact, as is Santa - I just want the kids watching to know that."
Kelly's comments garnered a widespread rash of criticism from those who argued the Fox News host was being racist when she said both Jesus and Santa were white. Kelly then issued a response on her evening talk show, saying she was trying to inject a bit of humor into the holiday season, but such attempts were evidently "lost on the humorless."
"Humor is what we try to bring to this show, but that's lost on the humorless," Kelly said on "The Kelly File" in December 2013. "This would be funny if it were not so telling about our society, in particular, the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel."