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Oprah Winfrey's 'Greenleaf' May Offend Christian Viewers, Warns Gospel Star Erica Campbell

( [email protected] ) Jul 07, 2016 01:40 PM EDT
"Greenleaf," the new scripted drama series starring OWN founder Oprah Winfrey, may not sit well with some in the Christian community, gospel music star Erica Campbell has warned.
"Greenleaf" is an American television drama series, created by Craig Wright, and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate Television. OWN

"Greenleaf," the new scripted drama series starring OWN founder Oprah Winfrey, may not sit well with some in the Christian community, gospel music star Erica Campbell has warned.

According to the show website, "Greenleaf" is about the various scandals and affairs of a bishop's family in the fictional Memphis megachurch, Calvary Fellowship World Ministries.

"Beneath its steeple lies a den of iniquity-greed, adultery, sibling rivalry and conflicting values-a multigenerational matrix of deception that involves the church's founding family, but also extends to the congregation and prominent members of the Memphis community and beyond," reads the description. "Yet, amidst all of the mayhem and deception, the power of something greater persists, calling everyone to conscience for their sins."

During a recent interview with "Tom Joyner Morning Show," Campbell, 44, admitted that some Christian viewers will not appreciate the show due to its salacious content. However, she pointed out that the church isn't made up of perfect people -- in fact, it's full of sinners.

"Some church people may be upset," Campbell said of the drama on the "Tom Joyner Morning Show."

"I believe everybody that's coming to church needs Jesus. There is no such thing as perfect people," she said. "It is messed up folk who need a perfect God and so you bring your junk to church and you try to deal with it."

Despite its content, some in the Christian community have backed "Greenleaf," including choral master Ricky Dillard, who praised it as "literally the truth!"

When asked if she fears she will offend viewers by showing the darker side of the Christian institution, Winfrey, 62, said she's not worried.

"I do everything from the point of view of intention, and the intention in all of my work is to raise consciousness and lift people up," she told People Magazine. "I am not gonna do anything that is derogatory toward the church because I am of the church."

She added that she has strong reasons for choosing the show as OWN's first scripted series.

"The church is such a powerful institution in the African-American community and, I thought, a bedrock for storytelling and for sinning and for learning how to forgive and to overcome your flaws and faults and all that. So it's just a beautiful platform," she said.

In addition to Winfrey, "Greenleaf" stars Merle Dandridge, Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Kim Hawthorne, Lamman Rucker, Tye White, Deborah Joy Winans, and Desiree Ross.

"Greenleaf" is produced for OWN by Lionsgate Television. Executive producers are Oprah Winfrey, Craig Wright and Clement Virgo