The producer of a new movie starring Paris Jackson as a female Jesus says controversy over the part has been "completely blown out of proportion".
The model and daughter of Michael Jackson is taking on the controversial role in upcoming indie flick, 'Habit', which also stars Bella Thorne, rocker Gavin Rossdale and transgender model Andreja Pejic.
Thorne plays the part of a "party girl with a Jesus fetish who gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out by masquerading as a nun."
Critics have called the movie blasphemous and hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions calling on Hollywood to put a stop to its release.
Producer Cassian Elwes has defended the movie and the portrayal of Jesus.
"Of course the story has been completely blown out of proportion," he said on Twitter.
"In fact Paris appears in a fantasy moment that Bella has in the film where Bella has a vision of her mother played by Paris) dressed as Jesus."
He also rebutted rumors that the Jesus portrayed by Jackson is a lesbian.
"That's absolute nonsense," he said.
A petition started on CitizenGo by the Christian Film and Television Commission has been signed by over 300,000 people.
"This blasphemous content should not be tolerated," it says.
"For Christians around the world who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, portraying him in this manner is deeply offensive.
"We are bringing public attention to this blasphemous film about Jesus. We need to work hard on dissuading any studio from distributing it."
Another petition started by One Million Moms has been signed by 77,000 people.