Why I Told the President of Disney My Family Wouldn’t Be Watching AVENGERS: ENDGAME
By Mark Matta, Executive Director of Public Awareness Ministries
Our four kids (21, 18, 16, 14 — all big Marvel Entertainment fans), were excitedly looking forward to the opening night of Marvel’s AVENGERS: ENDGAME movie on Thursday eve, April 25! As always, we checked the movie review in advance at www.Movieguide.org. Sadly, for the kids, we learned, from the Movieguide® review, that AVENGERS: ENDGAME contains the blasphemous misuse of God’s Name, so we, therefore, chose not to attend this exciting movie opening.
We’re so thankful for the “watchman on the wall” work of www.Movieguide.org which encourages us toward God-honoring, family-friendly entertainment, and warns us away from immorality, blasphemy, gratuitous violence, occultic themes, and more.
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When our kids expressed their disappointment about being unable to attend the AVENGERS: ENDGAME movie on opening night, the Lord led me to challenge them. I asked my children, “Well, what are you going to do to express your views about the inappropriateness of blasphemy in superhero films to leadership at Marvel and Disney? YOU are their main target market, and they should listen to the views of faithful consumers of their, mainly excellent, product.”
Together, we went to work, and we researched the names and addresses (and phone numbers) of the CEO’s of Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Company (which owns Marvel). We wrote letters that expressed thanks for the quality of Marvel movies that generally forgo blasphemy and our sadness about being unable to attend the AVENGERS: ENDGAME movie owing to the dialogue which dishonors God.
Importantly, we expressed how blasphemy hurts them as film producers because it deeply offends their target audience, and it reduces their revenue in three ways: box office, streaming and DVD sales revenue. We try to speak truth in love, explaining how THEY are harmed, from a revenue perspective which is vital to their shareholders, by including blasphemy in their movies.
To communicate that we’re not out-of-touch killjoys, we indicated in our letters to Marvel and Disney that, to most viewers, a few swear words in an action genre film are tolerable for our older and more discerning teenagers. However, the misuse of God’s Name in a film that appeals mostly to young, impressionable people is never acceptable and will cause the studios themselves to suffer a loss of revenue.
How can we send such mixed messages by teaching our young people the Pledge of Allegiance (“one nation under God”) and our National Motto (“in God we trust”), and then taking them to see movies that “dis” our loving and beneficent God?!
I was also able to speak with leaders at Marvel and Disney by phone, and God even opened the door for me to have a short, positive phone call on the topic above with the President of The Walt Disney Studios (and he was receptive to my comments, even while “on his way” to the Avengers: Endgame movie opening on April 25).
What have we learned from this experience? OURS is the duty, and HIS are the results…
While it’s good to “vote with your feet,” that is, to choose not to buy a product that you feel violates our conscience or the innocence of our children, we ALSO must raise our voices, speaking truth in love, to let the “producers” of these products know how WE ARE their main “bread and butter” market AND will continue to strongly support quality movies that lift up virtue, purity, self-sacrifice, and morality, while rejecting movies that contain sexuality, blasphemy, and occultic themes.
Luke 19:13 instructs us to “Occupy till Jesus returns,” speaking truth in love as we stand-up for Him and His Word in every area (including the realms of business, education, public policy, social media, civil government, and the consumer choices we make). Numbers 30 reminds us that to remain silent is to consent to, or agree with, the status quo of what is happening in front of us. Silence in the face of evil is not an option, and I’m deeply grateful for those Christians, now and throughout history, who have chosen to speak truth in love into a culture that is often hostile to Godly values.
Were it not for strong Christians, like Pastor Jonas Clark in Lexington, and Pastor Peter Muhlenberg, who, at the time of the American Revolution, taught congregants the “truth in love” that life and liberty are worth defending, then America might not be a free nation today. You and I CAN make a positive impact in our sphere of influence, for Jesus and His Word, today! When we stand for Jesus and His principles, we are “fashioning jewels for His crown!” Please join me!
Mark Matta, MBA
Public Awareness Ministries (www.PublicAwarenessMinistries.com).