I got to host the Movie Guide awards on the red carpet for TBN this year and it was an honor to be a part of such a novel, counter culture event in Hollywood.
Do you know what the Movie Guide awards are? Around Oscar time, the Movie Guide channel hosts its annual show, rewarding the best family-friendly movies of the past year. Their goal is to highlight and honor the good in Hollywood. Praise the Lord because we clearly need more good and for it to be recognized, especially in our current cultural climate.
More and more high quality faith based films and shows are getting made year after year, and they continue to get better and better. Studios are finally getting that faith, family and traditional values sell. Movie Guide honored films like Miracles From Heaven, The Young Messiah, Risen and God’s Not Dead this year.
Network television is getting worse. Violence, sexual and mature content for primetime television are increasing. Movie ratings are allowing more unwholesome content in G and PG ratings. As a soon to be mother, I think about the kind of shows and movies my daughter will be exposed to. It seems as if the more a show or movie pushes the envelope, the more applauded it is. Movie Guide understands that entertainment programming has the power to impact people, our minds and interpersonal relations in positive or negative ways.
Movie Guide Awards is doing great work in this space. Movie Guide is an international family guide to movies and entertainment and their advocacy organization serves as a bridge between the entertainment industry and the traditional family audience. Most people don’t know that the family audience represent more than 65% of the American population. How is what we are watching affecting children? And honestly, how is it affecting us?
There is and has been plain and shocking evidence for years regarding how entertainment programming can negatively affect us. Violent programs lead to violent thoughts, feelings and behavior. Negativity impacts our dream life and our moods. Reality shows like Real Housewives, The Bachelor and The Kardashians also foster a sense of materialism, which leads to coveting, feelings of inadequacy and a twisted emphasis on what really matters…things, rings and money over people.
I stopped watching TV altogether four years ago and I’ve noticed a great difference in my life. Kris and I only watch films together, and even in this, I am protective of my eyes and the scenes I expose myself to. A sinister, unseen, spiritual force is fighting for our attention. What we see and take in gets a place in our minds, whether consciously or subconsciously. Now that I am pregnant, I believe what I watch, the words and sounds on the screen, and how it affects me mentally and emotionally also impacts my developing daughter.
The average American watches four and a half hours of television a day. That’s two months a year! An average 65 year old spends nine years of their life watching television. Think of all we could be doing productively with that time! Why don’t we take some responsibility for our minds, values, emotional well being and children? Let our money tell them what we want made.
Thankfully, many believers are doing this. As a Christian, my faith drives most of my daily decisions and so do 41 million other believers in the United States…this includes the films we go see. The common belief that the edgier content is, the more it sells is getting debunked.
According to Bloomberg.com’s article Why Audiences Flock To Faith Based Films, spiritual subjects were ignored in Hollywood for years until Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ garnered a mammoth $611 million worldwide, shattering expectations of what a Christian production could make. Then, suddenly everyone was interested. More and more faith based films are getting made because studios are realizing it is good business.
“For our business as a whole, [faith-based films] helps bring a whole other audience to the movies, which is something we all want and the diversity of the product is really good for our business,” Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, told TheWrap.
Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, said that religious-oriented films are so popular because of the large number of Christians living in America, as well as the numerous people who say their faith is the leading driver for most decisions in their lives, which includes deciding which movies to see.
“Seventy percent of Americans self identify as Christian, 60 percent of Americans practice Christianity even if it’s at a nominal level,” Stone said. “Seventeen percent of Americans — that’s 41 million people — say their faith is a leading driver for their daily decisions, so where I work, what I buy and the entertainment choices that I make … they are looking for something they can watch with their family.”
Way to go, Mel, for blazin’ that trail!
Sales in the box office also show viewers want values over stars:
I was very honored to be a part of the work Movie Guide Awards is doing in highlighting the good and the faith in Hollywood by hosting their red carpet arrivals and awards interviews. It’s also empowering to know I can be five months pregnant and still work in entertainment in a fun dress. Because of the work I’ve done on my security and identity in Christ, I didn’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable standing next to gorgeous female celebs with my changing body. As a matter of fact, I loved having my growing daughter there with me. One of the actresses, Bailee Madison came right up to me, asked if she could feel my belly and offered to babysit anytime!