British independent film producer Cassian Cary Elwes is addressing protests by Christian organizations over his upcoming film Habit.
The film features Paris Jackson, the daughter of pop icon Michael Jackson, who news outlets initially alleged would be playing the part of Jesus as a lesbian woman.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, multiple Christian organizations such as Movieguide and One Million Moms started petitions calling for the film’s cancellation. Both petitions have garnered thousands of signatures.
According to the film’s official description, the movie follows a "party girl with a Jesus fetish who gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out by masquerading as a nun."
Elwes, who leads the independent film production company Elevated Films, dismissed claims that Jackson would be playing a lesbian Jesus calling the notion “absolute nonsense.”
That’s absolute nonsense https://t.co/VoIpxPRx8F— cassian elwes (@cassianelwes) July 2, 2020
When a reporter asked Elwes about the petitions made against Habit, he asserted that the controversy was overblown.
“Of course the story has been completely blown out of proportion.” Elwes wrote last week on Twitter. “In fact, Paris appears in a fantasy moment that Bella [Thorne] has in the film where Bella has a vision of her mother (played by Paris) dressed as Jesus.”
Of course the story has been completely blown out of proportion In fact Paris appears in a fantasy moment that Bella has in the film where Bella has a vision of her mother( played by Paris ) dressed as Jesus. https://t.co/TWNUxsNiSm— cassian elwes (@cassianelwes) July 2, 2020
In an interview with the Christian Post, Movieguide founder Ted Baehr asserted that Habit is crossing a line that “should not be crossed.”
"Usually, we like our audience to be the judge. We present them with information, and we want them to judge whether it's worthwhile for their family,” Baehr said.
Baehr also told the Christian Post that former Disney star Thorne, who will be playing the part of the nun in the movie, and film writer Susi Kaiser, have both claimed to be Christians.
“The interesting thing about the movie is I know many of the people involved. Bella Thorne has come and presented at our gala and said that she was a Christian, Baehr said. So what do you do with that? She's a wonderful person.
“So now she's gone off the deep end like many of these people who come to the gala and tell me they’re Christian and their family goes to church,” he lamented.
"The writer [Suki Kaiser], is the daughter of a missionary in Thailand so it's really weird," Baehr continued. "They're not making this movie without knowing that it's blaspheming Jesus. They're actually taking Jesus, who they claim to know as a missionary daughter and the people who are involved in it, and are actively blaspheming.”
Paris Jackson herself has yet to comment on the film and her reported depiction of Jesus Christ. Recently, the 22-year old actress, musician and model opened up about her sexuality in the new Facebook Watch series, Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn.
Glenn, whom Jackson is dating, is also her bandmate in the folk duo, The Soundflowers.
"Never thought I'd end up with a dude," said Jackson, according to toofab. "Thought I'd end up marrying a chick or ... I've dated more women than men. Been with more chicks. The public only knows about 3 long term relationships I've been with and they've been with men. The public doesn't know about like most of the relationships I've been in."
“I say I'm gay because I guess I am, but I wouldn't consider myself bisexual because I've dated more than just men and women, I've dated a man that had a vagina," she added. "It has nothing to do with what's in your pants, it's literally like, what are you like as a person?”
Jackson went on to note how her father picked up on her sexual preference when she was a little girl.
"I think he felt the energy and he would tease me the same way he'd tease my brothers, like, 'You got yourself a girlfriend!' if I were staring at a magazine of a woman too hard," she noted. "I'm very lucky to have that, especially so young, 8 or 9. Not many children have that experience."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Frazer Harrison/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.