Kraft Pulls Ads From Controversial ‘GCB,’ Conflicting Reasons Cited

Leslie Bibb and Kristin Chenowith of 'GCB' (Photo: ABC)

UPDATE: Kraft now appears to be backtracking on its previous statement, telling The Hollywood Reporter that the company’s decision to pull Philadelphia Cream Cheese commercials from ABC’s new series “GCB” was not the result of the show’s content, which has been criticized for its portrayal of Christians.

"As part of a larger multishow media buy on ABC-TV, there were some spots included in the rotation for the new GCB series," Kraft says in a statement to THR. "It's customary to advertise on premiere episodes due to their large viewership, like Philadelphia Cream Cheese did this week.

"The brand has decided to redirect advertising to other programs with an established audience," they added. "Although we received a few consumer complaints, this decision was not linked in any way to the content of this particular show."

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ABC’s new primetime soap “GCB” is catching holy hell for what some call a derogatory depiction of Christians.

Now the disgruntlement is, uh, spreading. Philadelphia Cream Cheese has yanked their ads from the new ABC series “GCB,” says TMZ.

A rep for the company says, according to TMZ, "Philadelphia has decided to pull its advertising from 'GCB'… We have received a few complaints from consumers and their opinions about our advertising are important to us." The rep added, "We have recently decided to redirect our advertising to other programs."

Based on the book “Good Christian Bitches” and later retitled “Good Christian Belles” before ABC reduced it to simply “GCB” (not a smart move either), the series stars Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenowith, Annie Potts and Miriam Shor as a pack of catty, wealthy Christian women who rule their Texas town southern-style – with a splash of honey and a dash of vinegar.

Last week, New York City Councilman Peter Vallone called for a boycott of the show, declaring it an attack on Christians.

"The title of the show alone is yet another outrageous attack on the Christian faith," he told TMZ. "Charlie Sheen will be back on 'Two and a Half Men' before we see a similar title targeting another religion."

The soapy series, from executive producer Darren Star (“Sex and the City,” “Melrose Place”), is definitely guilty of being over the top (at least in the pilot episode) but should having fun with some southern stereotypes be considered blasphemy? After all, these women obey “The 10 Commandments,” which for them include, “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Designer Labels,” “Thou Shalt Add Bling to Everything,” and “Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Husband…Unless He’s Really Hot.”

"GCB" airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC and has been pegged by the network as a hopeful replacement in the female demo for the departing "Desperate Housewives." It premiered this past Sunday with 7.6 million viewers and a 2.2 rating, getting it off to a mediocre start.

See if you find “GCB” offensive–watch the series premiere below.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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