Monday’s episode of the CBS show “Bob Hearts Abishola” implied that the Bible is silent about lesbianism and poked fun at Nigerian Christian church culture.
In episode 11 of “Bob Hearts Abishola” season three, Bob Wheeler (Billy Gardell) accidentally divulges that his wife’s cousin, Morenike (Tori Danner), is “gay.” The news causes commotion in her Nigerian family, highlighting how homosexuality is frowned upon in the culture.
“We rebuke the demon of gayness,” a pastor in the episode says as a group of Nigerian relatives surrounds Morenike. “Your child has strayed. Oh God, please give her the strength to find her way back to you.”
“Neither adulterers nor men who have sex with men will inherit the Kingdom of God,’” the pastor read from 1 Corinthians 6.
Someone in the room replies that the scripture does not say anything about women. The pastor responded, “Just as man shall not lie with man, women shall not lie with women!”
The woman responds to the pastor: “According to you, but God remains rather quiet on the subject.”
Another woman in the room responds: “How dare you question a man of God.”
The main character, Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku), attempts to use another passage of Scripture to imply that many of them also don’t follow all the words of the Bible.
“Haven’t we all sinned? Leviticus says pork is forbidden. Have we not all enjoyed the sins of a Baconator?” the character interjected
The co-creator and writer of “Bob Hearts Abishola,” Gina Yashere, a lesbian, explained why she decided to make Morenike a lesbian in the series in an interview with TV Line late last year.
“Because I’m gay and my family is Nigerian, I know what it’s like,” Yashere said. “I’m lucky I was born outside of Nigeria, so I haven’t had the same struggles that my gay brothers and sisters have had within Nigeria, and the problems that they’re having: being arrested all the time, being harassed when they go out [and] being thrown out of their families.”
Yashere said she also wanted to address Americans as well
“In America, homophobia and transphobia are causing a lot of people to be attacked violently and to be thrown out of their families,” Yashere said. “You’ve got people even who are still living in the closet.”
Television networks have increasingly included LGBT narratives in their programming in recent years.
Many Christian denominations adhere to the Bible’s stance on sexuality, teaching that while homosexuality is a sin, believers are commanded to love the sinner. Many Christian organizations have advocated keeping the traditional family structure in entertainment.
In 2019, Christian groups called for the Hallmark Channel to reconsider showcasing its first movie with a same-sex “wedding” theme. The family network said LGBT themes will continue to run as they work with the LGBT activist group GLAAD to “better represent the LGBTQ community across [its] portfolio of brands.”
GLAAD is calling for 20% of all television characters to be LGBT by 2025.
Also, in 2019, Disney first depicted a same-sex relationship among teens in the series “Andi Mack.” Last week, an 8-year-old boy came out as bisexual on the popular television series “Law & Order: SVU.”
“In the last several years, we’ve seen many examples of children embracing an LGBT perspective, both on kids shows (‘Arthur,’ ‘Owl House,’ ‘Blues Clues,’ ‘Doc McStuffins,’ among many others) and on shows and movies aimed at an older audience,” Adam Holz, the director of Plugged In, Focus on The Family’s entertainment review site, told The Christian Post this week