Kirk Franklin disappointed in consecutive censorship of speeches speaking out against racial injustice as Gospel Music Association responds.
In 2016, Kirk Franklin made headlines for his riveting and challenging speech at the GMA Dove Awards that encouraged the audience to stand up for racial injustice that he was seeing throughout the world, saying “when we say nothing, we are saying something.” During the TBN broadcast of the Dove Awards, that speech was edited out.
Now, history seems to have repeated itself as TBN has once again edited out a speech by Kirk Franklin last week after being promised it wouldn’t happen again, actions that have deeply grieved and frustrated the prolific gospel artist.
“Today, I feel like quitting,” Kirk Franklin begins. “I’m heartbroken I even have to share this with you.”
Kirk has announced that as of today, he will be boycotting any future Dove Awards, TBN broadcasts, and the Gospel Music Association “until tangible plans are put in place to protect and champion diversity, especially where people of colour have contributed their gifts, finances, and talents to build the vitality of these institutions.”
“Not only did they edit my speech,” Kirk explains, “they edited the African American experience. I pray there will be a significant change from this hurtful experience. I look with anticipation for that day of healing and am committed to contributing to that process. In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
You can watch his full announcement below and see the original post here.
Watch Video Announcement here
Gospel Music Association responds
The GMA has issued an official response, focusing the story on the overall broadcast show window of two hours, which required a lot of editing of many special moments.
“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 for 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 colour. 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.”
“In recent years, we have worked hard to ensure that The Dove Awards stage is a platform that promotes unity and celebrates God’s diverse kingdom. Our heart is to showcase that unity and the Gospel message to a broken and divided world. Let us continue to strive to be a light in the darkness and come together to raise the banner of Jesus Christ.”
You can read the statement in full here.