“The Office” star Rainn Wilson is getting real about what he perceives as an “anti-Christian bias” in the entertainment industry after a recent episode of HBO’s “The Last of Us” introduced a pastor whose character took a turn for the worse.
“I do think there is an anti-Christian bias in Hollywood,” Wilson tweeted Saturday. “As soon as the David character in ‘The Last of Us’ started reading from the Bible I knew that he was going to be a horrific villain. Could there be a Bible-reading preacher on a show who is actually loving and kind?”
Wilson, who played Dwight in the beloved sitcom and has previously opened up about being a follower of the Baha’i faith, specifically took issue with David, the pastor of a small Wyoming congregation who is introduced in “The Last of Us” Episode 8 titled “When We Are in Need.”
After Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) first cross paths with him, David’s character quickly takes a turn when the pair realize his motives aren’t as pure as one would imagine.
While Wilson’s tweet received a wide variety of reactions, “Abbott Elementary” star Sheryl Lee Ralph, who plays bible-loving Mrs. Howard in the ABC sitcom, used her character as a counterpoint to what Wilson pointed out as bias.
“Teacher not preacher, Barbara Howard @AbbottElemABC,” the Emmy winner responded Sunday.
In a recent “Abbott Elementary” episode, Mrs. Howard feels discomfort when the mother of one of her students has a profanity tattooed on her chest, leading her to list her favorite “B-words,” which range from “Bible” to “blessing” to “blueberry.”
One Twitter user backed up Ralph’s assessment of her “Abbott Elementary” character.
“Not a preacher, but @thesherylralph on Abbott Elementary comes to mind,” Amanda Kolstedt wrote. “She’s a nuanced, flawed, deeply Christian character, but she learns. And not in a way that undoes her beliefs, she learns thru leaning into the empathy, love, & compassion she has through her faith.”