Rainn Wilson wants to have the last word on religion in HBO’s “The Last of Us.”
The “Office” alum called out last Sunday’s episode of the record-breaking HBO series, which aired simultaneously during the 2023 Oscars March 12. The episode shows a group of cannibals led by what appears to be a Christian preacher; the group quotes Bible verses to defend their actions, with the preacher David also shown trying to assault lead character Ellie (Bella Ramsey).
“I do think there is an anti-Christian bias in Hollywood,” Wilson tweeted. “As soon as the David character in ‘The Last of Us’ started reading from the Bible I knew that he was going to be a horrific villain. Could there be a Bible-reading preacher on a show who is actually loving and kind?”
Wilson is not advancing some right-wing agenda. Far from it. He’s pointing out divisiveness, whether from the left or the right. He further tweeted, “Here’s a couple of funny things about the anti-Christian bias in Hollywood. My opinion tweet [about ‘The Last of Us’] was picked up as front page news by Fox News. Talk about bias. An organization created as a corporate shill to create division solely for profit based on culture-war outrage. Print that!”
He continued, “Also, I’m not even a Christian. Of course it’s true that the evangelical/political coalition is doing a great deal of damage to our country. Banning books – banning freedoms – denying inconvenient science, taking a grotesque anti-LGBTQ+ platform…But most Christians that I know are kind, accepting and loving and seeking to make the world a better place. They should also be honored in the media.”
Christian leaders agreed with Wilson in the comments, with LIBRE Initiative president Daniel Garza responding, “Defamation of Christianity has become the most unoriginal and tired cliches in movie/TV series storylines. It’s prevalence is much more than a bias against an entire people, it is meant to undermine faith and position the secular-minded as only ones with altruistic intentions.”
Wilson is a member of the Baha’i faith. The actor previously told Religion Unplugged that his religion is about coming together regardless of faith.
“No matter what your belief system, we can come together and pray,” Wilson said. “We have Jews, born-again Christians and agnostics who bring a poem. We’ll do just a real simple meditation sometimes and read some Baha’i prayers and read some stuff from the Bible and the Qur’an.”
“The Last of Us” was previously slammed by conservative anchor Ben Shapiro for featuring a queer storyline in the third episode, starring Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman. Shapiro called the series “Brokeback Zombie Farm” in reference to the film “Brokeback Mountain.”
“It is about two gay dudes who meet and have a relationship in which one grows strawberries for the other, and then they die by not being killed by zombies,” Shapiro said. “It’s all really well produced and it’s beautifully shot. However, here’s the problem with Brokeback Zombie Farm: It’s a zombie show. There are no zombies in this entire episode. There are no zombies in a zombie show. This is worth pointing out. It literally has nothing to do with the plot of the show.”
“Father Stu” star Mark Wahlberg has also spoken out on the “anti-Christian bias in Hollywood” that fellow actor Wilson cited, saying that he is determined to dedicate the rest of his career to faith-based storytelling.
“I don’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin,” Wahlberg said. “You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but, you know, I cannot deny my faith. It’s important for me to share that with people. I have friends from all walks of life and all different types of faiths and religions, so you know, it’s important to respect and honor them as well.”
I do think there is an anti-Christian bias in Hollywood. As soon as the David character in “The Last of Us”
started reading from the Bible I knew that he was going to be a horrific villain. Could there be a Bible-reading preacher on a show who is actually loving and kind?
— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) March 11, 2023