Today, SBS begain their media promotion of the upcoming Living with the Enemy show that I filmed in January. News Limited got first bite of the cherry with the online news site news.com.au running an article entitled “Living with The Enemy on SBS puts gay couple, priest under same roof” (originally titled “Living with The Enemy is explosive TV”, also at the Melbourne Herald Sun):
A FUNDAMENTALIST Anglican priest vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage and an engaged gay couple have shacked up for 10 days in one of the most combustible TV series in Australia.
Now look, some of the article is great but doesn’t it rather make your eyes roll when you hve the word “fundamentalist” (CAPITALISED TOO!!!) and “vehemently” in the first sentence? Keep it together, because there’s actually a bunch of great stuff here:
Six of the most divisive social issues in the country are given the Wife Swaptreatment in Living With The Enemy , which starts on SBS next month. The first episode features conservative Anglican minister David Ould from Macquarie Fields in Sydney and atheist couple from Melbourne Gregory Storer andMichael Barnett. Each spent five days at the other’s home, similar to the hit series Wife Swap which takes diametric opposite strangers and installs the mother into the other’s family in a bid to promote tolerance and gratitude. “We got along really well with the guys,” said Ould, who is married with three children. “We had a fun time with them here in our home.” Except Ould didn’t let Storer and Barnett in his home … “Oh well we had them in the caravan. That was a particular decision that we had to make. But they spent a lot of their company in our home. With our children. Just sharing time us, and that was good productive time … We grew quite fond of them by the end of it.” Storer said he and Barnett really liked Ould, even if he didn’t let them stay in his home. “He’s very much a loving Christian type person,” he said. “He’s got a really nice persona around him … he’s a genuinely nice bloke.” But nobody’s attitudes were changed.
All good. But then this photo
Over the course of filming we stopped for photo shoots on a couple of occassions. And on each of those occassions we took every possible combination of photographs and emotions. By which I mean to say that there were plenty of me smiling. Plenty of them. And then a good set of photos were passed on to interested media. But here’s the thing – I’ve seen a few pictures used in the mainstream media so far and not one has me smiling. Not one. But then, we vehement FUNDAMENTALISTS don’t smile. Despite, as the people who were actually there noting that there’s “a really nice persona around him … he’s a genuinely nice bloke”.
But I shouldn’t complain too much, because they also printed this:
Ould says it’s a role of the Church to make sure there’s “proper, mature debate” about gay marriage (which can only be changed by government legislation.)
“One of our roles is to say look we believe that God made the world and the lord Jesus Christ is king of all things and he actually knows best.”
You know what, I’m happy to be portrayed with a grumpy face it I get to say that kind of thing in the public media. And here’s the thing. It’s controversial and so they will often publish it. Which is good news for any Christian prepared to speak up in the public sphere. This is a modern western democracy which (apparently) believes in free speech and everyone’s right to contribute to the national debate. Getting Jesus in there is, of course, vitally important if He really is who the Bible claims that He is.
Go read the article, it’s full of great stuff and also points to the other topics in the series which look incredibly engaging.
Now back to the photos and a little fun. Here’s the last one in the piece:
And yes, you guessed it, no smile from me. Now at this point maybe you’re wondering if I’m just not capable of it? Well let me put that doubt to rest. Same camera angle…
Now I expect that there will be a bunch more media like this coming up. Our episode is the first one to be screened and is the one SBS are using to promote the series. My question is whether anyone will have me smiling? Or would that spoil the story? As you follow along who will be the first one to spot even a grin from me?