By Lynn Elber
AP Television Writer
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 1999; 9:58 p.m. EST
LOS ANGELES –– "Touched by an Angel" triumphed over "Dogma" as
ads for the satirical movie were pulled from newspapers and radio
because of CBS' complaint that its family series was being exploited.
"Get Touched by an Angel" was the slogan used to tout the Kevin Smith
movie, which has drawn fire for its depiction of the Roman Catholic
In a Nov. 12 letter to Lions Gate Films, CBS said it received calls from
people confused about whether a link exists to "our family oriented
television series and your irreverent movie that apparently belittles every
religious tenet embraced by our show."
CBS said the promotion exploits the show's name and demadned the ad
campaign stop. Lions Gate made the letter public Tuesday; a CBS
spokesman said the company had no further comment.
"We've instantly changed our ads," said Mark Urman, co-president of
Lions Gate Films. "Sometimes capitulation is the most sensible thing to do.
It's not a very big deal. We think it's kind of hilarious, in fact."
The slogan has been featured for several months on "Dogma" publicity
posters, Urman said Tuesday. "We never meant to harm or infringe upon
them," he said.
"Dogma" has been the focus of controversy since before its release. An
outcry by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights over the
script prompted Disney subsidiary Miramax Films to withdraw as
Smith, whose previous films include "Clerks" and "Chasing Amy," has said
the film is aimed at open-minded Catholics, using two gun-toting,
sinner-slaying angels (Ben Affleck, Matt Damon) to satirize zealots who
see violence as a path to heaven.
"Touched by an Angel," CBS' top-rated series, stars Roma Downey,
Della Reese and John Dye as benevolent angels dispatched from heaven
to help troubled people.