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'The Chosen' Creator Addresses Pride Flag Flap After Accepting K-Love Fan Award

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The faith-based hit series "The Chosen" won its second K-LOVE Fan Award Saturday for its powerful depiction of Jesus feeding the 5,000, but the big moment came in the middle of a controversy. The day after receiving the award, the series' director and creator addressed the online debate about a gay pride flag spotted in a promotional video, saying the production company does not "have a religious or political litmus test."

The first-ever multi-season television show about the life of Jesus beat out "Jesus Revolution," Kirk Cameron's "Lifemark" and "Family Camp," among other faith-based films in the Film & Television Impact category during the 10th annual K-Love Fan Awards.

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The annual award show is fan-driven and  "focuses on promoting artists, athletes, authors and entertainers who, with excellence, engage and impact popular culture for Jesus Christ", according to K-Love's website.

"Voting for 'The Chosen' was a no-brainer," one fan shared with K-Love. 

"'The Chosen' is above and beyond the most impactful thing for the Gospel out there. Simply amazing," another fan remarked. 

Dallas Jenkins, the series' creator and director, told the audience that growing up he dreamed of working on a "rare show." 

"There are so many different categories (now) of people who are not afraid to talk about Jesus," he shared. "It's truly extraordinary."

He continued, "There are people out there watching right now...and they are thinking maybe someday they could do something like this and maybe someday they can be a part of telling stories that are unashamed to be about Jesus in a world that desperately needs it, and I hope that someday 25 years from now...that I can watch people who are even better."

A few hours after thanking fans for the nomination, Jenkins took to Instagram to address the controversy that started after a media outlet spotted an LGBTQ pride flag on the set.

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The Daily Wire criticized the show after the flag was spotted in a promotional, behind-the-scenes video.

"Shouldn't every part of this show be Biblically based to truly honor the authentic Jesus? If you stand by having a pride flag on your set, you are not a Christian show," wrote Turning Point USA contributor and former sports reporter Jon Root in the piece.

Root also shared a screenshot of the flag on Twitter and asked "The Chosen" on the social site why it was there. 
"Just like with our hundreds of cast and crew who have different beliefs (or no belief at all) than we do, we will work with anyone who helps us portray or honor the authentic Jesus," the production company responded.

"We ask that audiences let the show speak for itself and focus on the message, not the messenger because we'll always let you down," continued the statement.

Days later, Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing apologized for the piece.

"This is a disgusting piece and I'm sorry we ran it," Boreing wrote. "A show like The Chosen has 100+ employees. One of them brought a pride flag to work. That sucks, but it's hardly the fault of the show."

At last check, the media outlet had yet to remove the article from its website.

Meanwhile, Jenkins has his own thoughts on the controversy, sharing on Instagram Sunday night that it was an "important" issue to address. 

"I'm not responding to anyone who started all of this. I am communicating to you, the potentially confused viewer, and to give you clarity," he remarked.

Jenkins explained that one of the crew members, who is considered an independent contractor, has a three-inch pride flag on his own personal equipment.

"To be clear there was no flag flown...and there was no statement made by 'The Chosen' about Pride or Pride month anything like that. There is no promotion of anything happening unlike some of the headlines," he explained.

"For a long time, our cast and crew have wildly different beliefs. They run the spectrum. Sometimes they wear t-shirts or hats that go across the spectrum from a Pride flag or a MAGA hat or a 'Jesus Saves' shirt. No one on our set has been triggered and no one on our set minds," Jenkins continued. 

Jenkins went on to say, "We made it clear to each other, our cast and crew, and to you, actually, that we do not have a religious or political litmus test to hire and we also do not police social media or their own personal workspaces like their own gear, their own equipment, their own t-shirts and we made that decision years ago."

"I don't make decisions based on disagreements or how people might respond," he added.

Jenkins did clarify that although the series is Christianity-based and depicts the life of Jesus Christ, it is not an official ministry or a church, so the structure is very different.

"It is important for you to remember that we are a for-profit public company as of now. Because of that we might run things differently than you would and we certainly run things differently than a church or non-profit," he noted.

He concluded, "I love our cast and crew. I would go to war for them any day and I would stand in the breech and defend them any day and we are a family...even though we disagree on big stuff...but we love each other and we have disagreements in the context of relationship and their incredible work on the project makes the show better."


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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.