Reality television star Duane “Dog” Chapman is in hot water, and a large part is his own doing. In a situation eerily similar to that which actor Alec Baldwin went through a few months ago, Chapman—who stars in the show Dog the Bounty Hunter on A&E—used racial slurs in phone conversations that his estranged son taped.
In the phone conversation, Dog used the N-word several times when talking about his son Tucker Chapman’s girlfriend (who is black). He also told his son that he should end his relationship with the woman. Dog also apparently expressed concern about the girlfriend trying to tape and publish proof of his own use of the N-word.
Dog ostensibly didn’t know his son was taping the conversation, nor did he know the son would sell it to that fine bastion of journalism, The National Enquirer. The tabloid’s editor-in-chief David Perel conveniently declined to say how he obtained the tape, but added that what was important was what was on the tape.
Dog has reportedly apologized to his son and to his son’s girlfriend, and to his
This reminds me of how Baldwin’s angry phone message for his daughter somehow wound up leaked to the public. I suspect there would be a lot more ugliness in the world if private conversations were made public, but the point is this: if Dog hadn’t been using inappropriate language, he’d have nothing to worry about.
Dog has tried to clarify his comments. According to the Associated Press, he was “disappointed in [my son’s] choice of a friend, not due to her race, but her character. However, I should have never used that term.”
I suspect A&E will wait and see if Dog’s indiscretion eventually fades away to yesterday’s news. If it does, and if African-Americans who’ve worked with Dog don’t report any racist vibes, then this story will eventually become a punch line down the road.