Actor Christian Bale may have shot himself in the foot—along with dampening public enthusiasm for the upcoming film in which he stars, Exodus: Gods and Kings—by saying that he considers Moses "barbaric" and "likely schizophrenic."
Bale, who gained plaudits for his portrayal of Batman in three films, made the comments in front of a group of international reporters last month at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles.
"I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life," Bale said about Moses.
Bloggers and others, many of whom had been cautiously enthusiastic about the movie, have been digesting them ever since, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"It's accurate to portray Moses as an imperfect hero, so Christians won't take issue with that," said Christian writer Brian Godawa. "But to be so extreme as to call him one of the most barbaric people in history—that sounds like he's going out of his way to distance himself from the very people you'd think he wants to appeal to. It tells me that he's worried about Hollywood peer approval while looking down on the public, because he certainly doesn't want to be associated with the religious or the far right."
Godawa plans to elaborate further on plans to weigh in on Bale's comments at his blog, though the Reporter said he's still crafting his response.
"Judging from commentary at Christian websites, the faithful are optimistic that Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings will be a bit more reverent than was Paramount's Noah. Though [Bale's] quote has thrown some water on that notion," according to the Reporter's account.
In early October, Faith Driven Consumer released the first wave of results from an extensive new national survey—conducted by partner research firm American Insights—detailing what Exodus needs to do to be successful with both its core Faith Driven Consumer (17% of U.S. adult population) and broader Christian (77% of U.S. adult population) audiences. That research can be seen here.
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