The culture war over racial justice has spilled over to the Dove Awards. Singer Kirk Franklin this week announced that he is boycotting Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Gospel Music Association, the Dove Awards and any of the organization’s affiliated events until they address issues of diversity.
Franklin said in a video statement on Instagram that TBN removed parts of his acceptance speeches from his 2016 and 2019 appearances at the Dove Awards shows that advocated for racial justice and reconciliation. He said he was not provided a satisfactory response.
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“I am aware that the word `boycott’ often has a negative connotation and finality to it, but my goal will forever be reconciliation as well as accountability,” he said. “It is important for those in charge to be informed. Not only did they edit my speech, they edited the African American experience.
“I’m not asking those in the gospel community to follow my decision. No. This is my personal choice to take a stand and hold responsible those in positions of power to acknowledge the issues in our separate communities that have existed from colonialism to Jim Crow… I pray there will be a significant change from this hurtful experience. I look with anticipation for that day of healing and I’m committed to contributing to that process. In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
Jackie Patillo, president and executive director for the GMA, said in a statement that Franklin’s speech was edited on TBN for time.
“Due to our broadcast window, we had to significantly edit the Dove telecast to two hours, which aired Sunday, Oct, 20,” she said. “In light of this, we understand that many were disappointed, because there were so many memorable moments and noteworthy portions of acceptance speeches absent.”
The GMA board is addressing the issue with Franklin.
“Members of the GMA board and executives spoke with Kirk and his team this past Friday to discuss solutions that we are currently working to implement moving forward,” Pattillo said. ““In recent years, we have worked hard to ensure that the Dove Awards stage is a platform that promotes unity and celebrates God’s diverse kingdom. Our heart is to showcase that unity and the gospel message to a broken and divided world. Let us continue to strive to be a light in the darkness and come together to raise the banner of Jesus Christ.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice
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