Award winning Marvin Sapp, Rapper Lecrae, Marvin Sapp contemporary Christian artist Natalie Grant and a host of other gospel artists are voicing their support for Kirk Franklin’s boycott of TBN, the Gospel Music Association, and the Dove Awards until they address the musicians’ diversity concerns.
The support comes after Franklin charged in a Monday video statement on Instagram that TBN removed parts of his acceptance speeches from his 2016 and 2019 appearances at Dove Awards shows which advocated for racial justice and reconciliation. He charged that when he approached representatives from all the organizations about the situation, he was not provided a satisfactory response. The GMA said in a statementthat it’s now working toward addressing Franklin’s concerns.
While Franklin said his decision to boycott the organizations was personal and he was not asking anyone else to join him, influential icons such as Lecrae, who has long been speaking out on issues of racial justice, quickly chimed in.
“I only came cause you came. You know I’m out,” Lecrae responded to Franklin’s post.
Marvin Sapp posted : “I Stand with you bro”
John Gray, senior pastor of Relentless Church in South Carolina, said: “You’ve been my brother since I was 22. I know exactly what you feel. I not only support you — I agree. The selective editing of your content — especially right now — cannot be overlooked. Change MUST HAPPEN NOW. I stand with you.”
YouTube star and Christian author Jefferson Bethke also praised Franklin for leading the charge on the issue.
“Thank you @kirkfranklin. Such powerful leadership and thank you for going before us showing so many behind you how. So touched by the zeal for justice while simultaneously articulating it with such clear grace, love, and spirit of hope. Learning from you. Thank you,” he said.
Jackie Patillo, president and executive director for the GMA, said in a statementshared with The Christian Post on Monday that they were working to address Franklin’s concerns.
“Members of the GMA board and executives spoke with Kirk and his team this past Friday to discuss solutions that we are currently working to implement moving forward. We will be highlighting those initiatives at a future date. Joining our efforts, TBN has made the unedited version available on their VOD platform. You can watch it here. Additionally, all of our winners have received their full acceptance speeches to post and share on their platforms as desired,” Patillo said.“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,” she added.