June 18, 2008

Return of Dog the Bounty Hunter is Unacceptable

The Electronic Village supports the call of the Afrosphere Action Coalition (AAC) for a 'Day of Blogging For Media Respect'.

A&E Network is the object of our collective ire as a result of their decision to bring Duane Chapman (aka 'Dog the Bounty Hunter') back on the air. Chapman had been taken off the air after his racist rantings became public knowledge.

The AAC wrote the network and its advertisers to express anger over this immoral decision to bring Chapman back on the public airwaves. We are taking a stand against Chapman's expressed racism. It is our view that Chapman has not adequately atoned for the racially derogatory intent of his words. Instead, he made claims about his motivation being benign and disparaged his son’s Black girlfriend, Monique Shinnery.

'They should pull the show completely and never air reruns or anything with Chapman ever again,' SiCap president Wayne Perry says in a press release. "A&E should wash their hands of this guy. Dog’s rant has personally disrupted my faith in people, and we will never associate any of our brands with any forum that supports racism in any way. This goes far beyond what Don Imus said on MSNBC, and they fired him immediately.”

We seek respect for people of African descent.

Daz Wilson, AAC co-coordinator, says, "The Black community won't tolerate the lack of consideration and respect we have seen from television networks, which have become increasingly insulting in their commentary; using stereotypical depictions, and allowing their spokespersons and actors to use racial slurs or refer to 'lynching' in a self-described joking manner. This unacceptable behavior seems to be shared by A&E Network, despite the fact that they and their advertisers benefit from diverse audiences and consumers."

I encourage all villagers to take a moment to call or write A&E Network and its sponsors to let them know you seek respect for people of African descent. Let them know you want A&E Network to remove Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman from their airwaves.

  1. A&E Vice President of Programming - Nancy Dubuc and Rob Sharenow
  2. Travelocity - Vollmer Public Relations, Amanda Borichevsky
  3. Tylenol - Call (877) TYLENOL
  4. AT&T
  5. Red Bull Energy Drinks - Call (310) 393-4647
  6. Yellowpages.com - Call (877) 647-6278
  7. Allstate Insurance - Call (866) 908-2500
  8. LG High Definition Televisions - Call (800) 243-0000
  9. Dell - Call (800) 915-3355
  10. Nintendo - Call (425) 882-2040
  11. Subway

Kudos to the Afrosphere Action Coalition coordinators -- Daz Wilson, Yobachi Boswell and Francis Holland -- for providing leadership on this Day of Blogging for Media Justice.

I'm interested in hearing your village voice on this Chapman/A&E Network situation and this effort at online activism. What say u?


Aaron & Alaine said...

For me, the imperative on media respect is to become highly effective in enforcing a bright line about what is and is not acceptable, what will and what will not be tolerated. I prefer the delivery of cold consequences over expressions of empty outrage.

If you substituted the term "kyke" in place of "nigger" in Dog's rant, does anyone doubt that A&E would not even think twice about returning that show to the airwaves? Why is that? Because it has been made abundantly clear by the Jewish community that the expression of egregious anti-Semitic speech will have painful political and financial repercussions. So people just don't go there. Thats where we need to be at. As an effort towards that, I created the BrightLine wiki recently. http://brightline.wetpaint.com/
Its a part of a response system to enable us to enforce media respect. Check it out.

Villager said...

Aaron - Excellent analogy. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the idea that other cultures and communities would never be subjected to this type of disrespect.

re: Wetpaint site -- I'll head over to check it out shortly!

Cooper said...

I will write, but i have to admit I have no idea who this guy is.

Los Angelista said...

I agree with Aaron & Alaine -- this is just ridiculous. And I think this truly is a case of money being the root of all evil. It's got to be all about the money that the show brings in.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there Villager!

I will add a link to my blog to your post right away!

Thank you so much for blowing your trumpet about this!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Jonzee said...

You know, although I am a community developer, I have never really been much of an activist,-i.e. letters to the editor, protests, etc., but this last year and half have reminded that me that there is power in numbers.

That being said, I am actually quite surprised that they made this decision. Did they think it would fly under the radar or that we had forgotten it occurred? I have already started drafting a letter to all of the sponsors you listed as well as the network.

Villager said...

Cooper - I've only watched his TV show 2-3 times in my life. However, he was the top-ranked show on the A&E Network when he went postal on a recorded phone call about his son going out with a Black woman. Anyhow, thanks for taking time to review the situation and offering your online support...

Los Angelista - Follow the money is always a good strategy in trying to find the reason for actions taken by most corporations (and most people). Anyhow, I hope you write or call one or more of the sponsors on the list to express your concerns...

Lisa & Jonzee - Asante sana!

djrook said...

How about just not watching the show and not purchasing anything from any of the sponsors. Sending letters to the network and the sponsors is great, but it means nothing if there is no threat of consequences for airing the show again. How about utilizing African American blogs/websites to put all of the sponsors on blast and Blacks as a community agreeing to not purchase their products or services.
It was probably a financial decision to put him back on the air, so let's make the consequences of A&E's actions financially related by not patronizing the sponsors.

Villager said...

DJ Rook - I shared the sponsors so that villagers can write, call and boycott these sponsors if they don't use their influence to keep Dog the Bounty Hunter off the air. I don't care about the re-runs ... however, I don't want to see any new shows being filmed with funds from these sponsors who are getting profits from African American consumers. We need to excercise our economic power to demand respect from the media, including A&E Network...