Pastor Jamal Bryant upset a lot of people when he joked about enjoying open marriages during his new daytime talk show "The Preachers." No one was more upset than his own mother, who quickly reprimanded him for his insensitive joke.
"My mother called me 'Sleepless in Seattle' trying to figure out, 'What did I mean laughing about open marriages? God is not pleased,'" Bryant from Empowerment Temple AME Church says on the show. "So I'm not talking to the millions of [you] watching. Dear mama, please know that I still believe marriage is between two people and what God has brought together let nobody put asunder."
Bryant's joke came after actress Mo'Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks revealed on the show that they enjoy having sex with other people during their 10-year marriage.
Since he is divorced, Bryant thought it was a good idea to poke fun of his own failed marriage. "I think that's amazing, and a lot of people think that is novel and [you] 'church people' are going to have a heart attack," he said. "I believed in open marriage, I just forgot to tell my ex-wife about it."
Aside from Bryant's mother, the Baltimore-based preacher also drew criticism from several other Christians. But instead of getting upset, Bryant says he is actually thankful for their criticism because the show got a sudden boost from it.
"It's been a major adjustment. None of us have done daytime television. I took the greatest hit last week. Some 7.5 million of you watched a clip on YouTube so let me say thank you to all of my haters and thank you to all of my celebrators," he says.
And while he truly believes in a biblical marriage, Bryant says he is "grateful to have the opportunity to have conversations with people who don't share my beliefs."