Gospel singer Kirk Franklin has boycotted against the Dove Awards and the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) after the broadcaster edited out part of Franklin’s award speech.
On Monday (28.10.2019), the singer posted a lengthy video on Instagram claiming that TBN-which is the host network for the awards- edited out the portion of his speech in which he discussed police brutality against the black community.
The 50th Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on October 15, 2019, in which Franklin won Gospel Artist of the Year but the awards show aired on TBN on October 20. “During my speech, I brought attention to the murder of Atatiana Jefferson in her home by a white police officer,” Franklin was quoted in his Instagram video.
“I asked everyone in the audience and those viewing to join me in prayer for not only Atatiana’s family, including her 8-year-old nephew who witnessed the killing, but also for the family of the police officer. Last week, during the airing of the awards on the same network, again, that part of my speech was edited out.”
Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew before she was shot by a police officer. A neighbor had noticed Jefferson’s door was open and asked the police to conduct a welfare check. After Franklin posted the video, the Gospel Music Association (GMA) which hosts the Dove Awards, issued an apology.
“We would like to publicly acknowledge that we are deeply apologetic for the missteps that happened relating to the editing of Kirk Franklin’s Dove Awards acceptance speech,” said Jackie Patillo, the Association President, in an official statement.
“It left a general perception that we are not concerned with key social issues that affect people of color. It is not our intent to disregard or silence any of our artists, and we are deeply saddened by this perception and are committed to change this.”
TBN would later in joint efforts with the association (GMA), publish the unedited version of Franklin’s speech. As witnessed by Kirk Franklin, this is not the first time TBN has edited out comments about police brutality in the gospel singer’s speech.
In 2016, Franklin won the award and during his victory speech, he spoke of the same topic which the network intentionally edited out. The 49-year-old artist had dedicated part of his speech to highlight the “civil unrest” at the time.
“For so long, the terms Christian and gospel for many are code words for white and black, which history may teach us was a setup for the unfortunate place we find ourselves in today,” said Franklin.