A producer of the upcoming indie film “Habit,” which hundreds of thousands have demanded be pulled ahead of its release due to its “blasphemes” depictions of Jesus Christ, says “the story has been completely blown out of proportion.”
“Of course the story has been completely blown out of proportion,” the film’s executive producer Cassian Elwes wrote on Twitter, responding to controversy the film has garnered months after entertainment news outlets Eonline, ET and Entertainment Weekly first reported that Paris Jackson was "cast as Jesus" and would be "playing Jesus," as her lesbian character has a "Jesus fetish."
Similarly, the News Break app also reported in April that Jackson, daughter of the late pop icon Michael Jackson, "will play a gender-bent version of that Holy figure who just celebrated his resurrection this past Sunday."
Following multiple reports of Jackson's lesbian role and portrayal of Jesus, a petition was launched to stop the film's release. As of Saturday afternoon, the petition has been signed by over 368,900 people.
Along with Jackson, “Habit” also features actors Bella Thorne, Gavin Rossdale and Andreja Pejic. The film is reportedly about a “party girl with a Jesus fetish who gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out by masquerading as a nun.”
Continuing his defense of the film, Elwes added, “In fact Paris appears in a fantasy moment that Bella has in the film where Bella has a vision of her mother played by Paris) dressed as Jesus.”
Responding to another tweet, Elwes said Jackson doesn’t play a “lesbian Jesus. That’s absolute nonsense.”
Ted Baehr, the founder of Movieguide and the Christian Film & Television Commission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to redeeming the values of the mass media, believes the film crosses a line “that should not be crossed.”
"Usually, we like our audience to be the judge. We present them with information and we want them to judge whether it's worthwhile for their family,” Baehr said in a recent interview with The Christian Post.
“We do have some lines that nobody in the entertainment industry should cross and that's our opinion. This is a line that should not be crossed. The same line that should not be crossed for movies that have pedophilia, and the line of blasphemy, which is exactly what this is,” he added.
“The interesting thing about the movie is I know many of the people involved. Bella Thorne has come and presented at our gala and said that she was a Christian. So what do you do with that? She's a wonderful person. So now she's gone off the deep end like many of these people who come to the gala and tell me they’re Christian and their family goes to church,” Baehr said, referring to the annual Movieguide awards gala held in Hollywood, California.
"The writer [Suki Kaiser], is the daughter of a missionary in Thailand so it's really weird," Baehr continued. "They're not making this movie without knowing that it's blaspheming Jesus. ...”
"It's demonic for people of faith to write a movie and star in a movie which is actively betraying the God and Creator of the universe as something perverse, something degraded, something that's seducing young people. It's just evil,” he said.
Another petition launched on Change.org calls the film "Christianophobic garbage" and urges Christians to stop the film's distribution. It has garnered over 293,000 signatories as of Saturday afternoon.