Documentary Review: God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty

Documentary Review: God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty
God Forbid:' Series depicting scandal involving the Falwells debuts on Hulu  | WSET

credit: God Forbid

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to religious scandals, especially when powerful families are involved. The Falwells have been known to a lot of people for many years since Jerry Falwell Sr. was a huge figure in religious circles at one time, as he was more than a little vocal when it came to various issues such as homosexuality, the porn industry, and so on.

But God Forbid deals with the scandal from the point of Giancarlo Granda, the pool boy that Becki Falwell, Jerry Jr.’s wife, took a liking to years ago. Granda was brought into this world of religion, sex, and lies when he was still in his early 20s when he stated that he couldn’t be expected to turn down an offer of sex with an older woman.

That’s kind of a lame and less than useful excuse that many would state isn’t bound to get a person off the hook when it comes to their part in a scandal, but it’s also something that might need to be listened to since to be fair, the allure of the life that the Falwell’s offered to Granda is the kind of thing that would entice pretty much any young man. 

God Forbid' review: Giancarlo Granda opens up about the Falwells in Hulu  documentary | CNN

credit: God Forbid

Blaming Granda for his part in this scandal could be the natural reaction for a lot of people. 

The fact that anyone would blame Granda for this mess is kind of interesting since he does have accountability, and it does feel as though he’s taken responsibility for his part in this, but the talk of being drawn into this web of lies and deceit is convincing enough, kind of, to believe that he didn’t know how to get out once he’d gotten in.

It is fair to state that Becki Falwell was attractive and that it might have been very difficult for Granda to say no. But after things started getting a little out of hand, it’s a bit confusing to think of how he wouldn’t have said no. Even with the desire to avoid criticizing this guy, it’s not tough to think that a lot of people might have wanted to get out at some point, especially when the oddness of it all became too much. A lot of men would admit that they would have been fine with the cuckolding if they were getting paid to do such a thing, but there are enough guys out there who would have likely turned it down. 

How the Falwells were able to maintain the kind of influence and hold they had over people for so long is tough to imagine. 

No one wants to believe that they’re a sheep, as they don’t like to hear that they don’t control their own lives and decisions. But folks such as the Falwells make it clear that a lot of individuals are susceptible to the smooth-talking, charismatic individuals who know how to get a person’s attention and keep it.

The idea that Jerry Falwell Jr. was able to come off as such a nice guy, a religious leader, and someone that people believed they could trust isn’t too difficult since folks that know how to talk circles around people and convince them that they are trustworthy and beyond reproach. But while there are plenty of people out in the world that are every bit as good as they appear to be, there is something dicey about people who amass the kind of wealth and renown that the Falwells did.

The wealth isn’t the point really. It’s the manner in which they went about earning it and the things that they did with it. A lot of people tend to forgive TV evangelists for a great number of things, but there are many times when taking a look behind the pulpit to discover what an evangelist might be hiding is a wise move. 

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credit: God Forbid

Religion is a tough debate to get into, but the negative aspects of it are hard to miss. 

Anytime religion becomes a part of a debate, it becomes exceedingly difficult since talking about religion can get a bit offensive to a lot of people. But hiding behind religion is even worse since the Falwell family was widely known as a deeply religious family that had ties to some of the most powerful people in the country.

The fact that Jerry was known to hang around Donald Trump and other prominent characters made it clear that he was someone who was listened to and that his religious practices were shared by a wide number of people. If there’s anything to be gleaned from this, it’s the irritating fact that Jerry and Becki knew how to play the religion game and were willing to do so to the ruination 

Trying to watch this documentary and remain neutral is possible, but many people will tend to pick a side. 

The truth is that the Falwells were obviously disturbed and entirely hypocritical, but thinking that Granda was responsible for himself isn’t exactly easy. The guy knew what he’d gotten himself into, but getting his life back was bound to be a battle. 


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