Originally published in Channel 24
Following viewer complaints, M-Net has moved the new drama Lucifer four hours later, upping the age restriction to 16 and banishing it to TV’s version of hell: late night on Fridays when nobody watches television.
M-Net started showing Lucifer last week at 19:00 and with a low age restriction in South Africa and several African countries.
In the new drama series Satan, played by Tom Ellis, is depicted as a sympathetic character who escaped hell and decides to help people after a girl he likes is killed after she “sold her soul to the devil”.
“It is completely unacceptable to me that offensive series like Lucifer be televised,” one complainant wrote. “I would suggest that DStv contribute to the cultivation of this country and community and not break it down and let it fall into sin – from pornography to Satan worship. It is unacceptable to say the least,” said a DStv subscriber.
“We find the new series Lucifer distasteful. It’s being aired in a prime slot in the evening and we feel it promotes Satan as something intriguing which we find offensive. If it must be aired then it should be aired in a late off-peak slot or on the DStv Explora,” said another.
“DStv is broadcasting this series on Wednesday evening, that actively portrays Satan/ Lucifer as a hero to innocent people who might not know better. Has he succeeded in deceiving DStv and South African Christians, to believe that this is an innocent fable as well? In the meantime I cannot support DStv while they are actively spreading Satan’s word,” complained another viewer.
“I find it most disturbing that this kind of series is aired during family time (19:00). It goes against any grain of Christianity to project Satan as a caring and helpful ‘person’. Children especially will be giving contradicting messages when allowed to watch this. I know one can block it or remove the channel but that is not the point, what has become of morality and values?” said another.
M-Net now says Lucifer is getting banished to television’s version of TV hell after wrongly programming it too early with a too low parental advisory: late on Friday nights which is the least watched day and timeslot of the week.
“The series Lucifer will move from its prime-time slot on M-Net Edge on Wednesdays at 19:00 to Fridays at 23:00 from this week onwards,” says Gideon Khobane, M-Net channel director.
M-Net showed Lucifer in South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique last week and is making the change after the complaints.
“Due to the perceived sensitive nature of its content, we believe Lucifer is better suited for late-night viewing. While M-Net Edge is the much-loved home of edgy, provocative and highly acclaimed series, we continue to review our schedules to ensure that the content matches the timeslot.”
M-Net will continue to make Lucifer available to viewers on DStv Catch Up and the Express from the US broadcast will continue on Wednesdays at 02:00.
Christian Today reports that in the United States, where the Fox TV drama series premiered on Monday, January 25, a group One Million Moms has come out with a warning to television viewers not to get hooked to the charms of Lucifer, who is presented in the show as a caring, likable person in human flesh.
The series follows the adventures on Earth of Lucifer Morningstar, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell, according to Fox.
After abandoning his throne in hell and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer becomes the owner of an upscale nightclub where he indulges in women, wine and song—until a murder takes place outside his establishment.
“For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifer’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy,” the Fox press release says.
Lucifer then meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, “who appears to possess an inherent goodness—unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed.” What intrigues Lucifer is that Chloe appears immune to his charms.
Lucifer then starts to wonder if there is still hope for his soul.
According to One Million Moms—a group dedicated to exposing “the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity” in the entertainment media—Fox is portraying Lucifer as a cool-looking good guy who drives a fancy car and who irresistibly attracts women with his charms.
Another major character in the show is Archangel Amenadiel, an emissary of God who has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld.
In the pilot episode, Amenadiel warns Lucifer that he needs to get back to the Underworld, saying “You are a mockery of everything divine!”
Lucifer questions Amenadiel, “Do you think I’m the devil because I’m inherently evil or just because dear old Dad decided I was?”
The question is meant to make people rethink assumptions about good and evil, including about God and Satan, according to One Million Moms.
The message of the show is clear: Lucifer is just misunderstood. He doesn’t want to be a bad guy, it’s God who is forcing him to play that role, it said.