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Entertainment

Gospel artist Kirk Franklin to boycott Dove awards and TBN after comments about racial injustice were cut

by Cara Bentley

Kirk Franklin is a Texan gospel artist who led the choir The Family and has released solo albums.

On Monday, he posted a video on Instagram explaining why he would be boycotting the Christian music event, the Dove Awards, and the Christian TV channel Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) until tangible plans are put in place to "protect and champion diversity". 

Franklin said: "Today, I feel like quitting and I am heartbroken that I even have to share this with you."

He explained how he won the award for best gospel artist at the Dove Awards in 2016, the Christian version of the Grammys, but that some of his acceptance speech was edited out on television. 

He said: "For so long, the terms 'Christian' and 'Gospel' for many were codewords for 'black' and 'white', which history may teach us was a set up for this unfortunate place we find ourselves in today.

"During that awards speech I felt the responsibility, as a Christian and a man of colour, to address the civil unrest at that time that was plaguing our country."

He was referring to the killings of two black men by police officers; Philando Castile and Walter Scott.

During the speech, he called on the audience to speak out and there was a standing ovation as he prayed.

Although, this speech is available on the Dove Awards youtube channel, Franklin said it was edited when TBN aired the awards.

After he rose the issue in 2016, Dove promised to rectify the mistake but he never heard from TBN. 

This month, at the same awards he claimed the same thing happened when he raised the case of Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman who was shot by a white police officer in front of her eight year old nephew. 

He offered prayers for her family and those of the police officer. 

This too, he said, was cut from the TV broadcast on TBN. 

On Monday, Franklin said he had prayed about this concern and consulted with his pastor Dr Tony Evans from Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. 

He added: "My goal will forever be reconciliation as well as accountability"

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