Gospel Music Association issues apology after Kirk Franklin boycotts Dove Awards for censoring speech
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Gospel Music Association president Jackie Patillo has issued an apology to Gospel artist Kirk Franklin and his supporters after the latter boycotted the association for censoring his acceptance speech at the 50th Annual Dove Awards.
Earlier this week, Kirk Franklin said he would boycott the Dove Awards and the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) for cutting a particular part of his speech at the 50th annual gala. He has spoken about police brutality on the black community.
A native of Fort Worth, Franklin had called for prayers after shooting of a youngster by police in Texas earlier this month. “A young girl by the name of Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed in her home by a policeman and I am just asking that we send up prayers for her family and for his, and asking that we send up prayers for that 8-year-old little boy that saw that tragedy,” the 49-year-old said in acceptance speech after winning gospel “Artist of the Year” award.
The Christian artist who was nominated for over a dozen Dove Awards took to social media the day after, and called out the association for cutting the crucial part of his acceptance speech in the official broadcast. Franklin in a video claimed this is not the first time the Dove Awards censored his words regarding atrocities of police on black people and said: “not only did they edit my speech, they edited the African American experience.”
The “Love Theory” singer said a part of his speech at Dove Awards in 2016 where he talked about the murders of Philando Castile and Walter Scott was also cropped from the final broadcast, but he was assured by the GMA that it would not happen again. Franklin added he is boycotting all affiliated parties “until tangible plans are put in place to protect diversity” since his speech was censored again.
After Franklin’s boycott, the Gospel Music Association uploaded his full speech to YouTube and GMA President Jackie Patillo admitted “unintentional error” in cutting the award show to fit the two-hour telecast, reports Yahoo.
“We accept the responsibility of our error. Although completely unintentional. We understand it caused great harm and deeply wounded many in the African American and Gospel community,” Jackie Patillo wrote in his detailed apology letter.
The singer issued an apology to the LGBT community on behalf of the ‘black’ church.
“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,” Patillo added.
Celebrities like gospel rappers Lecrae and Aaron Cole, Christian artist Natalie Grant and radio personality Ricky Smiley have since then come out in support of Franklin’s stance.