Man, reading the celebrity gossip blogs really pays off sometimes because once in a while, they actually turn up something important. Thanks to my favorite gossip blog, I learned that the cable network A&E announced today that it will resume airing the hit reality show “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which was taken off the air a few months back after the show’s star, Duane “Dog” Chapman, was exposed as a racist.
Dog’s racism came to light after his son, Tucker, published a recording of his dad repeatedly using the word “nigger” in reference to Tucker’s Black girlfriend. The recording cost Dog his show after A&E started losing advertisers, who probably didn’t want to be associated with such a racist. At the time anyway.
Fortunately for Dog, his period of penance seems to be over and A&E has decided he has done enough apologizing. Apparently, appearing on a bunch of radio and TV programs and expressing remorse for using a racial slur is enough to convince some people that one is not in fact a racist. Who knew.
Here’s the network’s take on their decision to resurrect Dog’s show:
Over the last few months, Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman has taken and continues to take the appropriate steps in reaching out to several African American organizations in an effort to make amends for his private comments to his son which were released publicly. Since the premise of ‘Dog The Bounty Hunter’ is about second chances, we have decided to give him one.”
I love America, home of the second chance, where there are no racists, only people who throw “nigger” around like their lives depend on it. If I had my way, Dog would never be allowed anywhere near a TV camera again. But I’m just a lowly blogger. And I don’t own A&E, which clearly seems to think that being a racist is OK, as long as you spend enough time apologizing not for your racist attitude, but for your choice of words. After all, there’s no such thing as a racist, right? Dog’s not really a racist, is he? He’s just a regular guy who was caught on tape casually using a word that demeans, denigrates, and dehumanizes an entire population. How silly of me to have confused him with a racist!!!
Now, I’m as big a believer in second chances as A&E: I just happen to believe that there should be consequences for holding racist attitudes, which lie at the heart of so many of the divisions and social inequalities that plague our society today. It took Dog a lifetime to become the racist that he is, and I’m pretty sure that spending a few months “reaching out to several African American organizations” is not going to make him less of a racist. But what do I know. I’m not the star of a hit reality show.
Luckily for Dog, his show was popular and I’m sure plenty of people—who have less of a problem with racism than I do—will be happy to start watching it again. But I’m sure few will be happier than A&E executives, whose decision to put “Dog the Bounty Hunter” back on the air probably has little to do with second chances and everything to do with money. Clearly, they think the loss of advertising dollars was too great a price to pay for taking a courageous and principled stance against racism.
Gotta love America.