Last month, T-Mobile released one of their most popular viral videos of all time—a Royal Wedding spoof that has already amassed over 21 million views. But now, just over a month after the T-Mobile viral was released, the church that served as a backdrop in the video is being criticized for agreeing to host the T-Mobile parody.
According to David Kiefaber of Adweek, the Rev. Dr. Martin Dudley, who serves as rector of St. Bartholomew the Great church in London, has come under fire for his decision to host the T-Mobile Royal Wedding spoof. Adweek points to an article in the London Evening Standard, which says that an anonymous senior cleric complained to the Archdeacon of London, David Meara, that the use of the church was, in fact, “embarrassing.” The senior cleric suggested that Dudley donate the £3,500 fee that the church received from T-Mobile for use of the space be donated to one of Prince William’s charities in order “to sweeten the taste in the mouth.”
The Rev. Dr. Dudley defended his decision to allow T-Mobile to use the church saying that the advertisement was a part of the wedding celebration. “It was not a stuffy wedding and this generated a lot of interest. Millions of people have seen this video. Our founder Rahere was a minstrel or jester at the court of King Henry I. He generated his influence by the fact that he entertained.” Dudley views the St. Bartholomew the Great Church as unique in that it has followed in the tradition of its founder to appeal to a wider audience. This isn’t the first time the church has been used as a set. It can also be seen in Four Weddings And A Funeral, The Apprentice, The League of Gentleman and, according to Adweek, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
It should be noted that the money earned from the filming went towards the £500,000 yearly upkeep of the church, a charity in itself. Dudley adds that he would never allow “anything that mocks the Christian faith or anything that is offensive, but you couldn’t say this was anything other than fun.” What do you think? Was it inappropriate for Dudley to allow T-Mobile to film their Royal Wedding spoof in the church? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.