One of the co-stars of the controversial Adult Swim Network's "Black Jesus" says the show portrays Jesus as a compassionate preacher, the same way He was on earth.
Andra Fuller, who stars as "Fish," follows an African American Christ character from Compton, California, that curses frequently in conversation and smokes pot. Prior to the show's premier in August, Christians and others alike wanted it canceled for its blasphemous content. Fuller now admits those protests and negativity have outweighed "how much heart the show has."
"… The same things that we're taught Jesus did, are the same thing Black Jesus is doing. No matter his circumstances, he still shows compassion and loves all man," Fuller said in an interview with Paste Magazine. "The only difference is, it's in a different environment, and he's been influenced by his environment. But at the core, it's Jesus Christ blessing people, performing miracles, and helping people out and preaching compassion."
Fuller also noted that the controversy surrounding the show is not fair as other shows with similar devalued morals are on air. He said he was triggered to rant on Twitter recently about how people have wanted to boycott "Black Jesus" yet many viewers tune into reality shows where "there's a rapper who has seven kids by four different women."
"It's just the epitome of where our country is right now—not just the black community, but where we are as a whole … If you're going to be so proactive as to start petitions to shut down a show before it ever even airs, then we have to play catch-up, and get some of these other shows shut down as well," said Fuller.
The difference between "Black Jesus" and those other series is that it is a scripted comedy, Fuller explained. While he said that he does not necessarily advocate for kids looking up to the characters seen on "Black Jesus," he noted that he is more against them aspiring to be like reality stars who are portrayed as rich and moral-less.
He noted that the "new 2014 American dream" for many kids is to become like the women who have a rapper's baby and never have to work again or the woman who is shown on television throwing drinks at someone, which is what people should be more concerned about, he said.
"I see a bigger problem with some of these reality stars, and these websites that promote middle school and high school-age kids fighting—I'm more against those types of things influencing young America, than a show depicting Jesus in Compton," said Fuller.
"Black Jesus" is a follow-up series to "The Boondocks," created by Aaron McGruder, whom Fuller credits for making the decision to join the cast.
"Before I knew [McGruder was involved], I was a little apprehensive. All I knew was that I had gotten an audition for something called Black Jesus … I knew he was going to push the envelope. But I also knew that it was going to be well-written, and more than just what you see on the surface. So I was pretty much on board once I heard Aaron was behind it," said Fuller.
Despite the show's controversy and the bum-like character he plays on screen, it is all about entertainment value at the end of the day, he said.
"I always tell people, I'm an actor. My job is to entertain. So if I take a role, and I believe in a role, it means I have to depict that role as accurately and as convincingly as possible."