"Big Love" makers apologize to Mormons, to air show

Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:22pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The makers of television polygamy drama "Big Love" apologized on Tuesday for any offense to Mormons in a depiction of a sacred ritual but made clear it would air the controversial episode as planned.

The HBO network's program about a non-Mormon polygamous family has stirred up a hornet's nest of complaints over an episode to be broadcast on Sunday showing its version of an endowment ceremony within a Mormon temple.

It is thought to be the first time the ritual, in which participants move to a higher level of understanding of their religion, will be shown on TV.

News of the episode prompted calls and emails for cancellation or an HBO boycott by angry members of the Mormon Church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

The Church itself has not officially called for a boycott.

"Big Love," which first aired in 2006, stars Bill Paxton as a member of a fictional breakaway Mormon sect who has three wives and eight children. The endowment ceremony is depicted in a flashback event for one of the women.

HBO said on Tuesday the writers had gone to great lengths "to be respectful and accurate" in the ceremony's portrayal.

"Obviously, it was not our intention to do anything disrespectful to the church but to those who may be offended, we offer our sincere apology," the channel said in a statement that was echoed separately in a similar statement by the series' creators.   Continued...

<p>(L-R) Actors Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin answer questions during the panel for HBO's series "Big Love" at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Los Angeles in this January 9, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Phil McCarten/Files</p>