A few days ago, I posted that I would be supporting the Afrosphere Action Coalition's Respect in Media campaign. The immediate focus of that campaign today? The A&E Network's announcement that they are bringing Duane "Dog" Chapman's show back to the airwaves in spite of his racist rant heard 'round the world just last year.
I am contacting the following individuals and sponsors to protest in solidarity with the AAC community and ask that Chapman not be given a free pass on his behavior. I hope my Faithful Readers will join me and the Afrosphere Action Coalition in the interest of reinforcing how important it is for all media, and most particularly the mass media, to show due respect to all people.
Please tell programming executives at A&E that their support of someone with such demeaning views is unacceptable and make clear to the advertisers listed below how you feel about companies that would support a man with Chapman's so loudly stated perspectives. Giving lip service to a pretense of apology is not, never has been, and never should be enough. Chapman says he doesn't "mean anything" by his use of the n-word. Not that I believe that for a second, but even if it were true, that suggestion would be worse than using the n-word itself. I mean, if he's really so racist that he doesn't even consciously register what he's doing when he uses it, then just saying "I'm sorry" isn't going to wipe it all away.
This is the basic email I'll be sending:
"I realize that the business of television is about money and that Dog Chapman is about money in the bank. However, I protest the return of the Dog Chapman show after his racist tirade last year. I do not believe he has changed. I believe that he is sorry he got caught. It is imperative that television networks support respect in media for all people. Do you imagine that anyone watching that show will NOT have heard about what he said last year? To support this man is to support his viewpoints. And I don't support networks or sponsors that condone rabid racism to make money."
If you're a blogger, please Blog Against Dog today (contacting Yobachi here when you do). If you're not a blogger, it's still important that you participate and encourage others you may know (individuals, listservs, etc.) to do so, as well. It's really not just about "Dog." It's about respect in media.
A&E VPs of Programing: Email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Travelocity: Vollmer Public Relations Amanda Borichevsky
Tylenol: Online Contact Form
AT&T: Phone 888-757-6500
Red Bull Energy Drinks: Online Contact Form
The Yellow Pages: Online Contact Form
Allstate Insurance: Online Contact Form
LG HD Television: Phone 800-243-0000
Dell Computers: Online Contact Form
Nintendo: Online Contact Form
Subway: Online Contact Form