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Current Page: Entertainment | Thursday, August 07, 2014
Aaron McGruder's 'Black Jesus' Sparks Twitter Debate Between Show's Actress Kali Hawk and Movie Funding Director Natasha Stevens

Aaron McGruder's 'Black Jesus' Sparks Twitter Debate Between Show's Actress Kali Hawk and Movie Funding Director Natasha Stevens

"Black Jesus" airs on the Adult Swim network on Aug. 7, 2014. | (Photo: YouTube/AdultSwim video grab)

Days before Aaron McGruder's new show "Black Jesus" aired on Adult Swim Thursday night, opposition to the show was evident on social media.

Black Jesus (Cartoon Network, 11 p.m. ET) is a show that lands Jesus in present day Compton, California. He curses, gets into fights, and deals with gang violence that is prevalent in the Los Angeles neighborhood.

Along with a petition for the cancellation of the show, religious tweeters took to the show's Facebook page to voice their displeasure with actors and producers involved with it. No one was more vocal than film financing company Pitch2Me.com Executive Director of Creative Content-Faith & Family Natasha Stevens, who is an unapologetic Christian.

Stevens started circulating the change.org petition, which now has nearly 8,000 signers, and asked different pastors and religious leaders to join it to get the show taken off the air. She then pointedly asked viewers in a direct response to McGruder, "How much is your soul worth?"

"There is no way he could have relented to do a show like that without internal soul damage & need of money," she tweeted. Then she went on to say that she could have a "faith" based script and a large financial backing, but if the project didn't match the label, she wouldn't go forward with it.

Later in the morning, actress Kali Hawk ("Peeples," "Couples Retreat"), who plays the character Maggie in Black Jesus, responded to Stevens and said she must not sit high and mighty in order to reach people, and believed that Black Jesus would reach the people it is meant to reach.

Stevens came back saying that while she appreciates Hawk, Black Jesus was blasphemous and she could not support it.

Hawk, who said she loves Jesus, responded that since she took the role as Maggie in the show, it has ignited more talk about religion and God than she's ever been able to do. The actress also shared about her personal experience with a friend who is a pastor and how he changed the way she looked at judging others, and how she feels that you can draw inspiration and motivation from anything, no matter what the content may be.

The Black Jesus actress also said she respects Stevens' decision not to watch something she finds offensive, and praised her for standing up for what she believes. Stevens also respectfully wished Hawk well hoping God will bring her great scripts in the future.

Surprisingly, the Twitter exchange remained mostly cordial, with each of the women wishing the other well in their endeavors and encouraging one another to be blessed.

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