In a Win for Wholesome Entertainment, Great American Media Acquires Pure Flix
Sony’s Christian streaming network Pure Flix has just been acquired by Great American Media in hopes to further build up the industry of family and faith-centered shows.
Wholesome Christian entertainment is a desire for many believers raising children in the modern age. The Hallmark Channel have been a reliable source of enjoyment for families in the past, but there has been recent controversy regarding their involvement in sexual politics. The decision of Great American Media, which produces the Great American Family channel, was spurred on by a desire to distance themselves from the LGBTQ content relayed on Hallmark.
The integration of Pure Flix and Great American Family is a colossal step for the Christian entertainment industry: two powerhouses coming together out of a desire to provide programming that is child-appropriate and gospel-centered. “This merge will allow us to further our commitment to original, quality content and makes Great American Media and Pure Flix leaders in a large and under-served market,” Great American Media President and CEO Bill Abbott remarked after the merger was announced.
Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council, writes in an interview for the Washington Stand, “God wants us to love Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind. Facts reach the mind, but stories reach the heart and the soul. Media has tremendous influence on what people believe because God wants us to experience things, not merely on an intellectual level, but an emotional level as well.”
He and many others believe that entertainment is a real mission field. Recent research cited in a New York Times article shows that the type of shows we watch can influence us in ways that form our cognitive ability and thinking. What we place before our eyes ultimately shapes our views and mental models. This is especially true for children, who absorb and learn from everything around them as their brain develops and grows.
“Media stimulates our senses so that we develop deep affections, but if our affections are being stirred for the wrong things we will become emotionally connected to the wrong things,” Backholm says. “That’s what the media does today. It stirs our hearts and affections for things that destroy us.”
Studies have shown that an association between aggression in the media and real-life aggression began in the 1950s, right when violent television shows began to boom. There are similar statistics in connection with gender confusion, and sexual promiscuity. Clearly, what we watch and the way that we act correlate in some way. For this reason, the entertainment industry needs more sources of nourishing, uncontaminated media to encourage the public while protecting their hearts.
“There is a huge market for stories that will encourage us to be better than our impulses,” Backholm concluded. The merge between Great American Family and Pure Flix seems to be a step in the right direction for the Christian entertainment industry in America.