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Kirk Franklin boycotts Dove Awards

Kirk Franklin boycotts Dove Awards

Gospel artist Kirk Franklin announced this past week that he will be boycotting future Dove Awards, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and the Gospel Music Association (GMA), until “tangible plans are put in place to protect and champion diversity.”

The GMA Dove Awards, an annual show that recognizes achievement in the Christian music industry, took place on Lipscomb University’s campus for the seventh consecutive year on Oct. 16. However, Franklin’s boycott is in response to the network removing comments during his Artist of the Year award acceptance speech. During the show, Franklin acknowledged Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old who was killed in her home by a Fort Worth police officer.

“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,” Franklin said. “And asking that we send up prayers for that 8-year-old little boy that saw that tragedy.”

That moment, along with others, was edited out of the 50th Annual Dove Awards television broadcast. In response, Franklin took to social media and posted a video on Monday night calling for a boycott of the show. He said the ultimate goal of the boycott is “reconciliation and accountability.”

“It is important for those in charge to be informed,” he said. “Not only did they edit my speech, they edited the African-American experience.”

However, Franklin also recalled that this isn’t the first time the GMA’s have chosen to censor comments from an airing. In a 2016 acceptance speech, he asked for a similar prayer for the killings of Philando Castile and Walter Scott, two black men shot by white police officers. These comments were also edited out.

Other fellow artists, including Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Natalie Grant, Marvin Sapp, Tauren Wells, and over 20,000 fans have decided to stand in solidarity with Franklin. Dove Awards Hip-Hop Artist of the Year winner, Lecrae, released an Instagram video stating that he has also chosen to opt-out of future Dove Awards until the issue is resolved.

“Kirk and I have had some great offline conversations about this, and I was expecting something different,” he said in the video. “I was hoping to see more from the GMA Dove Awards…So, that being said, I stand by my brother Kirk. Until [the Dove Awards] can sit down and have a conversation about these particular issues, I won’t be able to participate either.”

The Dove Awards Issues an Apology

dbenton

November 7th, 2019

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