An Evening with Producer Dean Batali

Monday, February 4, 2013

Point Loma Nazarene University
Contact: Kalyn McMackin (760) 685-3312
Point TV: Channel 23 Public Relations Manager.
Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358
Date: February 4. 2013
Written by: Kalyn McMackin

An Evening with Producer Dean Batali

Dean Batali, writer and producer of That 70’s Show, recently visited Point Loma Nazarene University to share with students how he has dealt with being a Christian not only in the television industry, but in Hollywood. 

“That 70’s Show is damaging to our culture,” said Batali. “It was rated the third worst show on television in terms of morality and it would have been rated number one had a Christian not been working on it.”

Batali offered advice, insight and reflection to both fans and students about one of the most popular television sitcoms in the ‘90s while also adding his experience as being a Christian in Hollywood. 

“Most people in Hollywood have no perception of who we [Christians] are,” said Batali. Furthermore, Batali said that people in Hollywood have declared Jesus as “irrelevant” and noted that not many Christians can be found in the writer’s room.

“I was the only guy who could make any dirty joke clean,” said Batali, the only Christian writer on the show. “I challenge every Christian writer of any piece of art to question, ‘How would I, as a Christian, have done that differently.”

Batali admitted to his own shortcomings as a follower of Jesus Christ when emphasizing the influence that sitcoms have on popular culture. He stressed that as Christians, we are to bring light and truth to corruptible workplaces and in Batali’s case, that meant Hollywood.

 Katie Callahan, a sophomore Journalism major, especially enjoyed Batali’s words of wisdom to those interested in going into the television and film industry. 

“Dean Batali came to PLNU and challenged us to be believers in the industry, be prepared to be knocked down, to take a stand, to be challenged, and to be faced with compromise,” said Callahan. “He reminded me that I need to look for God's truth and redemption in the media, and think on how Christ can change and move in any setting.”

 For more information, contact Dr. Alan Hueth at