Home Christian News ‘The Chosen’ Director on How He Deals With ‘Toxic,’ Untrue Criticism

‘The Chosen’ Director on How He Deals With ‘Toxic,’ Untrue Criticism

dallas jenkins
Composite image. Screenshot from YouTube / @The Chosen

“The Chosen” director, Dallas Jenkins, once again addressed the recent controversy surrounding the Season 3 trailer and explained how he responds to criticism that is based on false assumptions. In an Oct. 28 video, Jenkins said he does not create the hit series out of a “fear of man” or desire to please people, and he does not believe viewers—despite what they might say—actually want him to do so.

Dallas Jenkins: Beware of ‘Mind Reading’

When the trailer for Season 3 of “The Chosen” was released (it premiered on YouTube Oct. 17), Dallas Jenkins said that the initial response to it was highly positive. But it soon began to draw negative attention for a scene where a Pharisee tells Jesus, “if you do not renounce your words, we will have no choice but to follow the law of Moses.” Jesus responds, “I am the law of Moses.” 

Some people online observed that Jesus’ statement sounds similar to a verse in the Book of Mormon. 3 Nephi 15:9 says, “Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.” Controversy subsequently erupted, with many accusing “The Chosen” of promoting heresy. Jenkins has since clarified that the line is not a quote from The Book of Mormon, but that he does believe the concept is “theologically plausible.” 

Jenkins has, however, suggested that he and his LDS friends “love the same Jesus,” despite having wide theological differences. “The Chosen” director stated further that it is incorrect for people to interpret him as saying, “All Mormons are evangelicals/Christians or believe the same Jesus.” He said, “I don’t speak for an entire LDS or Catholic church just like I wouldn’t speak for the entire evangelical church.”

The Chosen” came under fire earlier this year due to being distributed by Angel Studios, a company co-founded by brothers who are part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Some claimed the show was produced by Mormons, but this is incorrect, as “The Chosen” is crowdfunded and the Harmon brothers do not control its content. 

In his Oct. 28 video, Dallas Jenkins said he wanted to explain how he and “The Chosen” team handle criticism, first noting there are different types of criticism they receive. For example, there are people who disagree on a “daily basis” about how Jesus is portrayed in the series. Jenkins said this disagreement, which is “healthy,” is to be expected.

The director specifically wanted to address two types of situations that are problematic, one of which is when people make statements about the show that are untrue. Claiming that Jenkins quoted from The Book of Mormon is an example of criticism based on a falsehood. Another problem is “mind reading,” which Jenkins called, “extraordinarily toxic.” Mind reading is when people assume they know another person’s thoughts or motives for doing something. “Any time that someone is reading your mind or heart, it’s something that you really got to just ignore and make sure you never do,” he said.