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Fans beg Amazon to keep Middle Earth clean

petition asking Amazon Studios to keep nudity out of its upcoming Lord of the Rings television

series has garnered 50,000 signatures. The creators behind the Instagram account Cathoholicism started their push after learning Amazon had hired an intimacy coordinator for the series, raising suspicions the show might include sex scenes.

“[J.R.R.] Tolkien’s work is truly wholesome and packed with incredible Christian symbolism,” the petition states. “He was a devout Catholic, and his memory does not need to be stained with gratuitous nudity or even nudity in the slightest.”

Amazon plans to invest as much as a billion dollars in the series, which is based on some of the less familiar writings of fantasy novelist Tolkien. The show is expected to span five seasons and cover events occurring long before the stories in the popular novels took place. Thanks to Peter Jackson’s successful Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies, Tolkien’s Middle Earth is as popular now as it’s ever been, so Amazon’s investment seems likely to pay off. But the studio must satisfy a diverse fanbase with diverging expectations of what a new Tolkien adaptation should look like.

The departure of Tom Shippey from the show last year gave originalist fans even more reason for concern. Shippey, a respected Tolkien scholar, had reassured fans the author’s estate would have veto authority over any content in the series—this wasn’t going to be Game of Thrones set in Middle Earth.

“Christian symbolism fills Tolkien’s stories, but this inappropriate material will forever change how people think about Middle Earth,” said Philip Dudt, who started his own petition to preserve Tolkien’s vision in the TV show. “Scripture heavily influenced what went into these books.”

Generations have gone by since the books were published in 1954 and 1955. Now readers and fans are approaching the story from a lens reshaped by the sexual revolution, cultural Marxism, and critical theory.

Read more at World Magazine

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