Media Research Center President Brent Bozell delivered remarks at the National Press Club on Tuesday calling on the National Endowment of the Arts to withdraw its funding of the "gleefully profane" Jerry Springer: The Opera in New York City. He issued the following statement at the conclusion of the press conference:
“The NEA must withdraw its funding of the wildly anti-Christian, especially anti-Catholic, hate-filled production entitled Jerry Springer: The Opera. As Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has pointed out, this so-called ‘opera’ receives the majority of its funding from public sources, including the NEA. This is an outrage which must end. Clearly, anti-Christian bigotry is the only form of prejudice which is still acceptable and condoned by the taxpayer-supported NEA. I can’t imagine the NEA or anyone else in their right minds daring to support such an outrage aimed at Muslims, African-Americans, women, immigrants or other minorities.
“This production features one offensive attack after another against the majority Christian faith of this nation: To give just two examples: When Jerry Springer’s character brings in the Virgin Mary, the choir sings: ‘Raped by an angel, raped by an angel, raped by God.’ And Jesus is introduced as the hypocrite of the fascist tyrant on high.
“This is not the first time the NEA has supported such hate-filled ‘art.’ Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, American tax dollars have funded all sorts depravity – from pornography to propaganda to the abjectly stupid and ugly. There is ‘Piss Christ’ which collected a $20,000 grant from the NEA to drop a crucifix in a glass of urine and display it as artwork; ‘Ten Cents a Dance,’ which depicts anonymous bathroom sex between two men; ‘Sex Fish,’ which portrays a ‘furious montage of oral sex, public restroom cruising and ... tropical fish;’ Mapplethorpe - An exhibit of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe which amounted to hard-core gay pornography.
“But this latest, production, Jerry Springer: The Opera is the worst. This production is not edgy, nor brave, nor original. It’s a dog whistle signaling disdain for Christianity. This spectacle's defenders suggest this isn't a mockery of Christianity. ‘This production is a parody, with tongue firmly in cheek,’ opera director Keith Alan Baker told The Washington Post. ‘No disrespect is intended.’ That's about as plausible as a Klansman saying the burning cross is merely for roasting marshmallows. The play is ugly, unadulterated hate. The current tenure of the NEA chair ends in April and President Trump must appoint a new chairman who will once and for all put an end to taxpayer funding for anti-Christian ‘art’ such as this piece of garbage.”