A New York City pastor is issuing a warning about a new Disney+ show featuring a teenage girl who falls in love with Satan, with the preacher cautioning about the dangers of Hollywood making light of true evil.
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Mike Signorelli, pastor of V1 Church in New York City, said “Pauline,” a show Deadline describes as a “German original about a teenager who falls in love with the devil,” is just the latest in a slew of Satan-themed content that should be giving Christian parents pause.
“My reaction was: Satan always comes masquerading as an angel of light, and so he’s going to portray himself in the form that people are most readily able to accept,” Signorelli said of his response to the show. “Because he wants to appeal to the masses, and we’re seeing this over and over and over again.”
Watch Signorelli respond to the coming Disney+ series:
The preacher said one might assume this tactic would stop working, but he noted “there is an audience for it,” which is why such shows continue to make their way to the market.
Much is still unknown about “Pauline,” though a Deadline report gives a glimpse into what can be expected.
“Pauline follows the eponymous protagonist, an 18-year-old who accidentally becomes pregnant – from a one-night stand,” the outlet writes of the show. “With school stress, the climate crisis and the downfall of society weighing heavily on her mind, something she doesn’t need at all right now is catching feelings, especially not for her one-night stand Lukas, who, as it turns out, is the devil himself.”
Whether it’s shows like this or cartoons like “Little Demon” — a program on FXX, a network owned by Disney — Signorelli said there’s cause for parents to be engaged and aware of what’s unfolding. This is particularly true for cartoons featuring evil, demonic, or satanic subject matter.
“If you are a parent watching this video right now, I just want to make it as clear and plain as possible: These cartoons are not for adults,” he said. “They can say they’re for adults. They can have an adult rating, but we know that cartoons appeal to children. And somebody has to be bold enough to say it.”
Signorelli said these shows are sometimes packaged and formatted in a way children can — or would — consume, and encouraged people to speak out about that reality.
“We have to just call it what it is and bring some measure of exposure to this,” he said.
Signorelli said Christians also have to be well aware of another fact: Ephesians 6 is real and believers are engaged in an intense spiritual battle.
“We’re fighting a spiritual battle and we wrestle not against flesh and blood, and so we’re not fighting against producers and directors and cartoonists and illustrators,” he said. “We are fighting a spiritual battle, and so we have to be aware of that so that Satan will not outwit us.”
Signorelli said it’s essential to expose Satan and pointed to Scripture’s descriptions of the devil “trying to outwit” humans.
“This spiritual battle is raging on and the enemy is just trying to take territory,” he said. “And that’s why the Scriptures also tell us, ‘Do not give place to the devil,’ and, sometimes, even good Christian parents will say, ‘I haven’t given place to the devil in my home,’ and the devil’s like, ‘Yes, but I own a little bit of digital real estate on the iPads and the iPhones of your children, and I’m coming for them through those digital devices.’”
Signorelli isn’t alone in his “Pauline” critique, as entertainment organization Movieguide launched a petition against the project. In an article — “Help Stop Satanic, Grotesque New Series PAULINE From Streaming on Disney+” — Movieguide slammed the show and urged people to take action.
The protest effort is seeking 150,000 signatures.