Billboard Company Bans Pro-Christian Advertising at the Republican National Convention
By Jackie Riester, Contributing Writer
In preparation for next week’s GOP event, the distributor for GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, Pureflix, had made plans for a 60 foot tall banner to be displayed down the side of a building in downtown Cleveland. The sign would have shown Melissa Joan Hart, who plays the lead role of a teacher fighting to retain her job after teaching about Jesus in class in GOD’S NOT DEAD 2. The sign would have also displayed a quote from the film, “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God.
While two months ago, it appeared there would be no issue with the display the billboard company, Orange Barrel Media, has recently told Pureflix that they didn’t like the “judged by God” message, calling it “too political” and “way too incendiary,” according to emails obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
When issues first began to arise, Orange Barrel told Pureflix that they could not display the sign due to Republican National Committee rules against “scandalous” signage. This was disputed by Pureflix; considering GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 features former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. In fact, the GOP has been very supportive of Pureflix, partnering together to provide a worship service the night before the event starts.
Orange Barrel then told Pureflix that the city of Cleveland would have issue with the message. Though the city did not oppose the message, they did request an alternate size and placement, which would have been reasonable had Orange Barrel not waited so long to inform Pureflix. In response to the questionable actions Pete Scantland, CEO of Orange Barrel, told THR that there was no bias intended and that his company never actually attained permission from the city to place a sign on the building in question.
The COO of Pureflix, Steve Fedyski, found that to be odd explaining that, “They picked the building and the size, and advertised that it was available.” Fedyski further told THR that, “they gave us a budget and deadlines, and we met all of it, then they put us on hold. We missed a primary promotional opportunity.
Since Pureflix has officially missed their deadline, the marketing space has been left open for other anti-religion groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation to present their pro-atheism messages. With one sign in particular, the FFRF has certainly taken advantage of the opportunity and placed a billboard near the airport right after the “Welcome to Cleveland” sign in an attempt to make a first impression to all those flying in for the convention. Annie Laurie Gaylor, a spokesman for the FFRF, told THR that her group has also secured more than 30 signs promoting atheism for the Democratic National Convention at the end of July.
The Ad from Pure Flix Entertainment
The Ad from Freedom of Religion
GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 comes out on DVD August 16th from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
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