This is a copy of an email from Bro. Dennis Holland, a Regional Public Affairs Director for the Church, (and brother of Apostle Jeffrey Holland). Apparently, the Church has decided NOT to publicize the "Mormons" program on PBS, as the first two hours are so negative toward the Church that they feel that non-members will not stick around for the two hours the following night, and will leave with a really bad feeling. They also feel that members who are not particularly strong in the Church will be mislead.
You certainly can't tell that by the trailer.
I don't know if the second segment is more positive.
Dear Stake Presidents and Public Affairs Directors,
I just found out recently about the upcoming PBS show on "Mormons" next week on April 30th and May 1st. I had forwarded a "trailer" of the show to the DPAs, as I felt I should share what little I knew with you. Elder Larry Wilson and Jay Pimentel, Bay Area Director of Public Affairs, had contacted me a week ago concerning the fact that they had heard there were stakes considering taking out ads to promote the show. That was the first I'd even heard about it, but it was evident that the Church was not behind promoting the show, apparently for good reason.
Bishop Jeff Jones from El Dorado Stake just copied me on an email with comments by some members in Southern California that had been interviewed as part of the show and had been given a preview of it.
Apparently the first segment is totally negative about polygamy and The Mountain Meadows Massacre. Will Bagley, a Salt Lake City author, is apparently the "historical advisor" for this project and Will is certainly not particularly friendly to the Church and especially not to Brigham Young. The comment from the members after watching the first segment was that...
"a less than firmly grounded Mormon seeing the first two hours of "The Mormons" might well feel ashamed to be a Mormon, and non-Mormons would carry away a strong distaste for Mormons. There is little in the segment being shown on the 30th that gives a positive Latter-day Saint viewpoint."
"While I had hopes that the program would be a fair-minded treatment of the Mormons, I learn instead that it is an 'expose' of the 'wrongs' in Mormon history. It is a smooth but bigoted and unprincipled assault on the Church."
They said after seeing parts of the second two-hour segment that at least an LDS viewpoint was allowed side-by-side criticism of the Church (e.g., on the issue of ). They also thought that most people would be so turned off by the first two-hour segment that they wouldn't want to see the second part.
I really know very little about this, but I just wanted to give you a "heads-up" so you can be prepared to respond to any negative reactions triggered by this show.
Sacramento Multi-stake DPA