Preachers of L.A. is hoping to be considered a positive reality show that is more about substance and message than about bickering, drama, and flash.
Breakout star Deitrick Haddon, a gospel singer and inspiring preacher, says he was more than aware of the negative connotations association with reality TV but felt he could overcome that obstacle to tell an inspiring story. "You can't live your life according to what has been or what has passed. It's up to you to redefine the situation," he explains to Essence. "I definitely knew there was a negative history on reality shows. But I knew that this show would kind of change the game because it's about preachers. Preachers are people who have a certain standard about themselves and they are people of integrity."
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For that reason he believes reality TV and religion can mix successfully. "I think [reality TV] is the perfect place for Christians," he insists. For critics, Deitrick's retort is that they "don't read their bible." He adds, "The Bible is a reality show."
I wonder what Jesus would say about that!
One of Deitrick's goals on the show is to go personal and share his story – heartaches and all. Starting with his painful divorce. "Millions of people have gone through that, and I certainly won't be the last," he shares. "Once someone tells you their story, you have to either respect it or keep it pushing. If people have anything negative to say about it, I really don't have any energy towards that." The minister faced pushback from some members of the church following his divorce.
And despite the show's focus on the positive, there will be some conflict. After all, not all preachers share the same interpretation of the Bible. In the first episode Dietrick and Bishop Clarence McClendon were seen miscommunicating. "I'm very outspoken," he says. "Every guy on the show is a strong, opinionated leader. So there will be a lot of clashing going on because it's just the way it is."
For preachers the so-called clashing isn't a negative, it's a way of discussing. The important thing is that they keep it from getting to a nasty place. "People that are preachers understand—we do that all the time. We get together and we debate over biblical topics, social topics, anything that we have to deal with in our churches. Sometimes it gets heated," Deitrick warns. "Sometimes everybody's cool. But everyone comes away with a strong opinion. There is an element of drama in the show—but we all do it with integrity."
Speaking of strong opinions, Deitrick says he is used to "catching heat" for his conduct since people are always ready to judge. And he does not plan to back down. "I've been under fire since I started in the game a long time ago. When I didn't have no dirt on my name, and I was squeaky clean, people had something to say," he says.
"Church folk will always have something to say. I got tough skin when it comes to that. My music has always been different—I've been fought since day one. I've developed a certain shield to that," Deitrick maintains. "I know how to survive beyond people's strong opinions and critics. I think at the end of the day, people's opinions don't change the facts."
Personally I'm enjoying the show so far. It's a different perspective from what we've seen on reality TV and it's a positive show. I'm also (slightly embarrassed to admit this) enjoying Alaskan Women Looking For Love. Ok… they're interesting! And nobody's arguing over twitter or cheating set-ups or throwing sinks…
[Photo Credit: Oxygen]
TELL US – WILL PREACHERS BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN ITS INTEGRITY? IS THE BIBLE LIKE A REALITY SHOW?