The president and CEO of D. James Kennedy Ministries says the Lifetime channel rejected programming on abortion and other controversial subjects in recent weeks, leading the ministry to pull all its shows off the channel rather than produce “milquetoast” content.
Frank Wright, president and chief executive of D. James Kennedy Ministries, said Wednesday that the ministry is now searching for a new cable television platform that will give it the national exposure it needs to reach a broad audience.
Lifetime had carried the ministry’s Truth that Transforms program the last three years, Wright said. He accused Lifetime of taking part in the “cancel culture” of conservative ideas.
“They complained about our abortion special. They wouldn't air a special on George Soros. They even refused a special on the life of George Washington – the spiritual life of George Washington,” Wright said in a YouTube video. “And so after discussing with the folks at Lifetime, we've decided we can't continue in this relationship. So we are now off of Lifetime effective immediately.”
He called it “very disappointing” news.
If you watch #TruthsThatTransform on @Lifetime TV, you know that our program did not air the past two Sundays. Lifetime refused to air them. Dr. Frank Wright, President and CEO of D. James Kennedy Ministries has more.#DJKM #Lifetime #CancelCulturehttps://t.co/XdhlhynG9h— D. James Kennedy (@DJKMinistries) February 17, 2021
“Lifetime is on every cable system in America – 105 or 110 million households have access to lifetime,” Wright said. “And by losing that, we lose an enormous platform. We lose what Dr. Kennedy used to call a big part of our megaphone of being able to get truth out into the culture. And these are very, very discouraging times. Because ... we see this as part of the broader cancel culture.”
John Rabe, director of creative productions for D. James Kennedy Ministries, said the change in direction at Lifetime took place in recent weeks. Lifetime aired the Sorors special in October but would not air it again this month, Rabe said.
“This is unfortunately happening around the Christian world, around the conservative world, where more and more people who hold traditional biblical views as we do are being de-platformed,” Rabe said. “They are losing their megaphones [and] are being sort of exiled from the public square – mostly by corporations and private companies.”
Wright said major cable networks have “completely eliminated” their block of religious programming in recent weeks.
“We think that's being done from a fear of ... advertisers complaining,” he asserted.
The cost of syndicating the program to every region in the country would be twice as much as the cost of the Lifetime broadcast, Wright said.
“If we're unable to replace that it will be a significant loss of impact on the culture,” he noted.
Wright added, the program applies “biblical truths to the great moral, ethical and cultural questions of our day.”
D. James Kennedy Ministries could have removed any controversial content from its programming and remained on air, Wright said. He dismissed that idea.
“It would be pointless to continue to even try to air some kind of a milquetoast program in which you can say ... nothing of significance,” he concluded.
Wright asked Christians to pray and support the ministry. An updated list of stations that now carry Truth that Transforms can be accessed at djkm.org/tv.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Glenn Carstens-Peters
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.