“The Chosen” director Dallas Jenkins took to Facebook Live to apologize for the show’s latest billboard marketing campaign that misled a handful of fans.
Billboards around the United States promoting “The Chosen” appeared to be defaced. Graffiti-like art crossed out words and persuaded people to visit a website titled “ChosenSux.com,” which took them to a site called “The Chosen Is Not Good.”
The show’s marketing team is behind the site, which features a satirical video that includes Satan teaching demons how to get people not to watch “The Chosen.” Additionally the site has a link titled “Don’t download the FREE chosen app,” but takes a person to the app to stream the show and also has a link to an online game called “disciples invaders game” where Satan’s head shoots characters who play the disciples in the show.
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The billboards also appeared to be graffitied with sayings like, “Come and see Poopy butts,” “The Chosen is boring,” and “Binge Salad (gross).”
Fans of “The Chosen” were duped into thinking the defaced billboards were the work of a hate group targeting the show’s wildly successful viewing audience.
Comments like, “How sad…what is wrong with people…why are they so afraid of God..??? This series literally saved my life the past year…I am so grateful I found it…Love it so much,” and “There will always be haters, even for the son of man. Sad as this may sound but our faith has withstood more than the emotions of people that are lost with their hate. Not only does this make our faith stronger but gives us more drive and purpose to spread the good word.”
The show later shared that it was actually behind the billboards and that they were an effort to get those who hadn’t yet seen the show to give it a try. “As you may have heard, these billboards are one part of a larger marketing campaign that launched yesterday,” a tweet from the show’s Twitter account read.
Before livestreaming episodes seven and eight from season one, Jenkins addressed the reasoning behind the marketing campaign. Jenkins explained that the show’s new campaign was intended to be “a bit of this reverse psychology,” like Chick-fil-A ads featuring cows telling people to eat more chicken.
After sharing the thought behind the video, Jenkins told their fans, “We made a big mistake. I made a big mistake, and I want to apologize to you who are watching who saw those billboards is a core passionate, loyal fan of the show, and felt defensive of the show.”
The fans’ passion for “The Chosen” is great, he said. Many “didn’t know that this was us didn’t know that this was part of a marketing campaign and the reason you didn’t know is because we didn’t tell you and we told you too late.”
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“In retrospect, last night, I was up very late, stressed about the fact that I screwed up and there’s no excuse for it,” Jenkins said, apologizing to fans.