Good Omens is a novel written by Neil Gailman and Terry Pratchett. This standalone book had a web series adaptation with the same title on Amazon Prime. Recently, a US Christian group made a petition to cancel Good Omens. But why?
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The adaptation is directed by Neil Gailman and Douglas Mackinnon. It is composed of six chapters, having Michael Sheen playing the role of the angel Arizaphale and David Tennant featuring the demon Crowley.
What is Good Omens about?
Good Omens narrates the story of Aziraphale and Crowley, an angel and demon respectively. While supposedly they should hate each other, instead they end up being friends and also collaborating into taking care of the boy who was born to become the Antichrist in an attempt to stop him from eventually destroying the world.
The Divine Plan is almost here, the day where the Earth will be the perfect battlefield for angels and demons to fight and finally decide who shall be victorious. The Armaggedon will begin when the Antichrist finally commands the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But what if the boy who was supposed to become the Antichrist had been misplaced and both Aziraphale and Crowley had been taking care of the wrong boy for years?
Why is there a petition to cancel Good Omens?
As you see, Good Omens is a comedy about the coming of the End Times. This kind of satire seems not to be of the liking of some US Christian groups who condemn this story for making satanism appear normal.
While writing this post the petition for canceling Good Omens was signed already by 20,839 individuals, if you want to sign it or want to read why they want to cancel Good Omens you can see their petition on their website here.
In this, they complain of depicting Satanists of good people while mocking God in different ways such as being voiced as a woman, an angel and a demon being friends and their purpose of saving the Earth because they were fond of it, or the four riders of the Apocalypse being portrayed as a group of bikers.
Long story short, this is their complaint:
In the end, this is a denial of Good and Evil: morality and natural law do not exist, just humanitarianism and an ultimately useless creed. This is another step to make Satanism appear normal, light and acceptable. We must show our rejection. Please sign our petition, telling Amazon that we will not stand silent as they destroy the barriers of horror we still have for evil.
Funnily, the novel was published in 1990. Almost twenty years ago! How come there were no complaints until now?
The petition against the wrong platform
Initially, this petition was asking Netflix to cancel Good Omens instead of being addressed to Amazon Prime, which is the true platform to watch this web series.
Netflix took the joke, promising not to make it anymore, see Twitter.
Amazon Prime, continuing the joke, tweeted at Netflix telling them than if they canceled Good Omens then they, Amazon Prime, would cancel Stranger Things (available on Netflix).
After this, the petitioners corrected this error addressing this petition to Amazon Prime.
Religion and fantasy conflicts
As you see religion and fantasy books sometimes have their ups and downs. Good Omens is not the only novel that has conflicted with religion, other more than famous sagas have had also faced similar confrontations:
His Dark Materials
This trilogy written by Philipp Pullman, which by the way is having its own adaptation by BBC, also had lots of controversies. In this case, some Christian groups considered that Pullman depicted God a merciless Tyrant while the church was an instrument of oppression, this series was even described as “atheism for kids” and also The Catholic Herald, a weekly Catholic newspaper, published this series was “worthy of bonfire”.
It was due to these critics why the first and only movie adaptation of this series, The Golden Compass, doesn’t show the abuse of power in this fictional version of the Church in an effort to avoid such controversy. A fact that wasn’t well received by both the fans and anti-censorship group.
Ironically, despite the attempt to make the film less controversial, the Catholic League called for a boycott of this movie, here are some excerpts:
The Catholic League is calling for a boycott of “The Golden Compass”; the movie opens December 7. It is based on the first book of a trilogy titled, His Dark Materials.
The author of this children’s fantasy is Philip Pullman, a noted English atheist. It is his objective to bash Catholicism and promote atheism. To kids. “The Golden Compass” is a film version of the book by that name, and it is being toned down so that Catholics, as well as Protestants, are not enraged.
We are launching a major educational campaign designed to alert the public to Pullman’s game plan. To that end, we have prepared a booklet, “The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked.” It contains snippets of what reviewers have said about the film and the books, as well as revealing comments made by Pullman himself; it also contains a synopsis of the trilogy. In short, the booklet is not what we are saying about Pullman’s work—it is what he and others have said about it.
Pullman represents the new face of atheism: it is aggressive, dogmatic and unrelenting. It is also fueled by hate—by a crusading hatred of all religions, but most especially of ours. His side is counting on our side to lie down and die. He may have experienced little resistance in England, but it’s a different story here.
See full call here.
Given that the Golden Compass’ box office was $372 million having a budget of $180 and even so the film sequels were canceled, seems that they won that time. Even though official communications say the project was canceled because of the disappointing sales in the United States.
Here you have all His Dark Materials books in order.
Kids and magic, an easy target. A group of Catholic priests burned several books that in their opinion promoted sorcery, as it could be no other way, a Harry Potter novel was among them.
Also, check out this list of young adult fantasy novels.
Will Good Omens have a sequel?
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gailman had the idea of writing a sequel, which was to be called 668—The Neighbour of the Beast. However, after Neil Gailman moved to the United States the sequel of Good Omens was never written.
Since Terry Pratchett died in 2015 at the age of 66, it should be Neil Gailman who would have to write the sequel on its own. As of 2019, Gailman has not announced that he is starting writing a sequel. However, given the success of Amazon’s Prime adaptation, it might help him make a decision?
What do you think Wottareaders? will Good Omens be canceled? comment!
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