Lecrae, Marvin Sapp, and Natalie Grant offer to support Kirk Franklin for boycotting TBN, the Gospel Music Association, and the Dove Awards. The support comes after Franklin charged in a Monday video statement on Instagram that TBN removed parts of his acceptance speeches from his 2016 and 2019 appearances at Dove Awards shows which advocated for racial justice and reconciliation.
Franklin's 3-minute speech at the recent GMA Dove Awards touched on several topics including gratitude for the recognition, honoring his fellow nominees, and a moment of recognition and prayer surrounding the recent fatal shooting of 28-year-old African-American Atatiana Jefferson in her home by a white police officer in Franklin's hometown of Fort Worth, TX. The edited version of Franklin's speech that aired on TBN on October 20th did not include any mention of the latter and immediately sparked concerns and critiques about the nature of the editing of his speech.
Natalie Grant, who has won multiple Dove Awards, praised Franklin for "consistently calling us toward unity." "Love and respect you so much. Thank you for using your platform to speak truth in love, and always with a spirit of humility. You're consistently calling us toward unity," she said.
The GMA said in a statement that it's now working toward addressing Franklin's concerns. They write:
"Specifically, we were made aware of troubling concerns regarding the edit of Kirk Franklin's acceptance speech. At the request of Kirk's team, we held our response regarding those concerns until we were able to speak with Kirk privately, apologize directly, and discuss resolutions to rectify this unfortunate issue.
With that said, we would like to publicly acknowledge that we are deeply apologetic for the missteps that happened relating to the editing of Kirk Franklin's Dove Awards acceptance speech. 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. 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.
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. We will be highlighting those initiatives at a future date."