3/09/2009 01:53:00 AM

Letter to Time Warner

Here is my email to Time Warner, parent company of HBO. Feel free to copy it (and include the shareholder part if you have any indirect financial interests in the company - that often takes a little research) -- I think Time Warner/HBO needs to receive a bleep-storm of letters from folks who disapprove. I don't want to attract undue attention to all this, but I'm definitely telling my LDS friends to notify Time Warner that we're not pleased.

It seems most likely, given the characters involved in the production of the show, that the whole thing is merely retaliation for the Church's involvement in Prop 8.


To Time Warner Investor Relations:

I am a shareholder of Time Warner, Inc. via a mutual fund managed by Fidelity Management and Research, Inc.

I'm sure Time Warner is currently receiving quite a few emails from LDS folks as the viral emails circulate about the March 15 Big Love episode on HBO. I'm sure some are more well-reasoned than others and some more vitriolic than others. As a shareholder of HBO via Time Warner, I just hope that my message is read.

I am an active member of the LDS Church, and although I can only speak for myself, I think you can take my comments as fairly representative of the thoughts and feelings of many of your LDS shareholders. I recognize that HBO probably has every right to show parts of the LDS temple ceremonies on Big Love. I'm not (and neither has the church ever been) particularly fazed by the presence of information on the internet and elsewhere about the LDS temple endowment ceremony. I'm all for free speech and flow of accurate information. I applaud Time Warner for supporting journalistic and artistic integrity. I am generally pleased with Time Warner's business and the products and services it provides.

The problem with what HBO is doing now by producing this episode is that the airing of these sacred ceremonies is going to offend and upset Mormons worldwide by making this sacred part of our religion part of promoting a sitcom. You see, your sitcom isn't broadcast to educate people. It's purpose is to entertain. And the sacred things we do in the temple are not for entertainment or for creating shock value to increase viewership. The fact that some of the temple clothing was displayed in this week's "TV Guide Magazine" to promote your show is offensive to me and members everywhere. Major entertainment groups have produced entertaining pieces containing references to Mormonism for years, but all in the past 50 years (at least, as far as I know) all have had the respect to avoid graphic depiction of our sacred temple ceremonies. Even news reports aimed at education have respected the Church's request that these sacred things not be displayed outside of our temples for others to ridicule.

I expect people to poke fun at the Church or even to say that the Church is weird or nonsensical. I also expect a certain level of respect. The airing of these sacred rituals on a fictional program is the effectual "pantsing" of the LDS Church on television, and I don't think it's appropriate for a company of Time Warner's stature to participate.

You can be sure that I won't be participating in anything associated with Time Warner or any of its subsidiaries if this actually airs on March 15. I would appreciate it if you would refrain from holding those things that are sacred to me in front of your viewers for the benefit of your made-up television show, Big Love.


Jordan Weber


Elise said...

nicely put. I never have liked being "pantsed."

Jennifer said...

Here, here. A dignified response...

lorellmorrell said...

Your mom would be proud. Can I say you are a "good boy" without being mocked? Oh who cares . . . you are. Thanks for being true.
Matt's mom