Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin has announced that he is boycotting the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, after finding out that his acceptance speech, which tackled police brutality, was edited for television.
The edited version aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network, and according to Kirk, his remarks on Atatiana Jefferson, the unarmed Black woman who was recently shot and killed in her home by a Fort Worth police officer - were cut out.
"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," he said on stage at the awards show.
After viewing the edited version, he posted a Facebook videos vowing that he will boycott "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, especially where people of color have contributed their gifts, talents, and finances to help build the viability of these institutions."
The organization has since apologized to Franklin:
"We accept the responsibility of our error," Gospel Music Association president Jackie Patillo said in part in a letter of apology to Franklin. "Although completely unintentional, we understand it caused great harm and deeply wounded many in the African American and Gospel community. As well, it left a general perception that we are not concerned with key social issues that affect people of color. It is not our intent to disregard or silence any of our artists, and we are deeply saddened by this perception and are committed to change this," she wrote per Billboard.