'Bounty Hunter' Suspended Over Slur in Phone Call
Friday, November 2, 2007
HONOLULU, Nov. 1 -- A&E cable network has suspended production of its hit reality series "Dog the Bounty Hunter" after star Duane "Dog" Chapman repeatedly used a racial slur during a private phone conversation with his son that was recorded and posted online.
Chapman issued a statement Wednesday apologizing for the comments after the National Enquirer posted a clip of the conversation in which he uses a racial epithet six times in reference to his son's girlfriend.
"We take this matter very seriously," A&E spokesman Michael Feeney said in a statement Thursday. "Pending an investigation, we have suspended production on the series. When the inquiry is concluded, we will take appropriate action."
"There's no problem with how the tape was obtained and Dog has acknowledged its authenticity and admitted to using the racist language," said David Perel, the Enquirer's editor in chief.
Perel declined to comment on how the tape was obtained. He said that isn't an issue because all that matters is what's on the tape.
In a statement, the 54-year-old Chapman said: "I did not mean to add yet another slap in the face to an entire race of people who have brought so many gifts to this world. I am ashamed of myself and I pledge to do whatever I can to repair this damage I have caused.
"My sincerest, heartfelt apologies go out to every person I have offended for my regrettable use of very inappropriate language. I am deeply disappointed in myself for speaking out of anger to my son and using such a hateful term in a private phone conversation."
Chapman said the clip was taken out of context.
"I was disappointed in his choice of a friend, not due to her race, but her character," he said. "However, I should have never used that term."
Chapman's show was in its fifth season and is one of A&E's top-rated programs. The series follows Chapman and his tattooed crew as they track down bail jumpers in Hawaii and other states.