Multi-Platinum selling artist Kirk Franklin has shared his frustration on social media over the refusal of Dove Awards and Trinity Broadcasting Network to fully disclose the entire details of the acceptance speech he gave at this year’s 50th Annual GMA Dove Awards, held October 15 in Nashville.
The versatile musician who was awarded the Gospel Artist of The Year at the ceremony, made his thoughts known via a length Instagram video he posted on Monday. According to him TBN edited out the portion of his speech in which he discussed police brutality against the black community.
“During my speech, I brought attention the murder of Atatiana Jefferson in her home by a white police officer,” Franklin said 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.”
Kirk Franklin also made mention of the same incident in 2016 when he won best gospel artist at the Dove Awards.
“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.
The 49-year-old artist had dedicated part of his speech to highlight the “civil unrest” at the time.
Feeling a responsibility to speak up “as a Christian and man of color,” Franklin spoke about the “killings of Philando Castille and Walter Scott” by white police officers. He also addressed the killings of five police officers by an African American.
After a standing ovation, everyone prayed for the families of the victims.
“We all felt that moment that there was a shift in the climate of our separate worlds,” Franklin said. But when the speech was aired on TBN, that part of his speech was cut out.”
After a meeting with the Dove Awards committee and TBN representatives, Franklin said he has decided to “not attend any events affiliated with or for the Dove Awards, Gospel Music Association, or TBN until tangible plans are put in place to protect and champion diversity.
“Not only did they edit my speech, they edited the African American experience,” Franklin concluded in his viral video
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