Coalition attacks NBC television for 'discrimination against Christians'
The Coalition for Better Television has switched its strategy. Instead of attacking American television for its sex and violence, it now is attacking TV for discrimination against Christians.
In a Nov. 12 letter to RCA chairman Thornton Bradshaw, coalition chairman Donald E. Wildmon had charged that ''methodically RCA-NBC has excluded Christian characters, culture, and values from their programs. All too often, when persons are identified as Christians in programs which air on RCA-NBC, they are characters only to scorn, prompt revulsion, and to ridicule.''
The coalition in the past has aligned itself with Rev. Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority.
The Reverend Wildmon calls NBC programming ''secular supremacist'' and points out that, although ''130 million Americans profess the Christian faith, rarely do they do so on RCA-NBC programs.'' He calls upon RCA and its subsidiary NBC to stop ''this discrimination against Christians at once.
The deadline, according to the letter, is Feb. 1, 1982. At this time, unless ''steps have been taken to stop this ugly anti-Christian bigotry . . . we will ask Christians, friends of Christians, and all fair-minded people who find religious discrimination repugnant . . . not to purchase RCA-NBC products . . . and refuse to purchase the products of advertisers who are party to this discrimination against Christians.''
On Nov. 24, NBC Television Network president Raymond J. Timothy responded. ''You offer no examples to back these allegations,'' he wrote. ''We consider the charges groundless, and we reject them. We believe that there is ample evidence that Christian values have been and continue to be well represented in NBC programming.
''Because our responsibility is to provide appropriate national programming service to all Americans, we cannot - and will not - have our programming decisions dictated to us by one special interest group within our audience - no matter what threats that group may make.''