A sign that would have advertised the DVD release of “God’s Not Dead 2” was canceled at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
The sign, which would have draped down a building in downtown Cleveland, featured actress Melissa Joan Hart, who in the movie plays a teacher who gets in trouble for calling upon scripture in the classroom. The text “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God” would have been on the billboard.
But it was canceled because the company Orange Barrel Media told the movie’s distributor Pure Flix that it didn’t like the “judged by God” message, calling it “too political” and “way too incendiary,” according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.
The sign would have reportedly cost $64,100.
Orange Barrel Media released a statement to CNN about the ad, saying they worked with Pure Flix in “good faith” but they were “unable to move forward with the campaign.”
“Following Pure Flix and Orange Barrel Media’s mutual determination not to move forward at the originally discussed venue, we offered to work with them on placement at an alternate venue, but Pure Flix declined to engage in these discussions,” the statement said.
CNN did not immediately hear back from Pure Flix for comment on this report.
Steve Fedyski, the CEO of Pure Flix, told The Hollywood Reporter said he’s “perplexed” by the ad cancellation.
“They dragged us along for weeks. Now, right up against the convention date, they say we aren’t approved, and they give us no logical rationale,” he said. “My speculation is that someone, somewhere didn’t want our message out. It’s hard to understand, considering we’ve used the same marketing on CNN and other national networks.”
According to the report, there will be signs with atheist messages posted in Cleveland. Next week, there will be a billboard with former President Ronald Reagan’s image, quoting him saying, “We establish no religion in this country.” The sign was reportedly purchased by an atheist group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation.