More than 100 black religious leaders have called for the boycott of a white-owned Christian media empire that reaches over 93 million homes after the owner referred to his stable network of black clergymen as his “hoes.”
Reaching into 200 countries and every major cable system except Jesus on the Main Line Ministries (whose motto is: “Tell him what you want”), the Word Network bills itself as the “largest African American religious network in the world.” Owned by Kevin Adell, who is decidedly not of the African variety of Americans, the network features some of the biggest names in the field of offering plates, including Rev. Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen and Bishop Paul S. Morton, who dedicated his life to Christ despite making a fortune after he invented salt in the late 1800s.
On Sept. 19, Adell allegedly texted a meme to one of his most notable pastors, Bishop George Bloomer, who is known as “a pioneer in the Christian faith,” according to stuff he probably wrote on Change.org. The meme contained an image of Addell wearing attire commonly associated with pimps (or, alternately, Steve Harvey on New Year’s Eve) surrounded by his cadre of black preachers, or—in other words—Adell’s hoes.
According to emails from concerned clergy, Bloomer told Adell, “This is not funny. This is not good. That pimp talk and hoe talk has racist connotations for black people,” to which Adell texted: “it’s funny and you should get over it.”
Bloomer then allegedly went to Adell and told the Mack of Black Ministers: “Don’t ever tweet that. You should get rid of it. This is not funny. Don’t play with this and don’t play with it with me,” Adell photoshopped a picture of Bloomer in a white tuxedo with the caption: “The show last night was good, Tattoo,” a reference to the character from Fantasy Island who called his employer “boss.”
“Kevin Adell was alluding to Bishop Bloomer being HIS Tattoo, and him being ‘Boss,’” said a press release from the outraged pastors. “Although Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island was a good character, the term “boss” in the Black community carries the connotation of ‘massa,’ and that is precisely what Kevin Adell was suggesting. The article that accompanied the photo-shopped image of Kevin as a pimp and his hoes even refers to him as the ‘massa’ of The Word Network.”
I don’t know about this. Maybe Adell was simply referring to Jesus being the “Master builder.” Or maybe he was talking about Rakim, the “God Emcee.” How do we know Adell wasn’t thinking of a master plan? I think the Bible clearly states that Jesus told his disciples that he had “nothin but sweat inside his hand,” instructing his ministers to get “Paid in Full.”
Anyway, when Bloomer reportedly protested again, Adell told Bloomer he was being too sensitive and sent Bloomer another photo with Bloomer and another individual wearing blackface.
Bloomer immediately left the Word Network and dozens of ministers across the country began calling for a boycott of Adell’s media outlets. The group is also demanding that cable companies remove the network from cable packages. An online petition has garnered almost 4,000 signatures and the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists has called for a boycott, apology, diversity training and plan not to repeat such actions.
But according to the Detroit Free Press, Adell says he didn’t create the meme and was simply sharing it with Bloomer. Adell sent a letter to the NABJ, explaining: “Adell has already disavowed the Meme in question by publicly stating that he had no prior knowledge of the Meme and confirmed that it was not created by him.”
The Caucasian Superfly adds that the general manager of his radio station was the one who found the meme during an online search. Adell also claims that Bloomer left the Word Network “because he wanted more air time,” which is also why Satan resigned his position as God’s minister of music.
The Free Press writes:
Adell said he’s considering legal action against the Detroit NABJ for their statement and letter released Monday that read in part: “This image is repulsive as it utilizes racial stereotypes and denigrates community leaders in the process. It is doubly disturbing because your station’s marketing materials promote the Word Network and the 910-AM radio station as home to Black voices. Being complicit in sharing racist materials is both offensive and a betrayal to the audience base you court and claim to support”...
[Adell] said that more than 95% of his 160 employees are African American and stressed that he was merely sharing the meme with Bloomer to make him aware of it: “To say that I need diversity training, to say that I need to apologize, apologize for something I didn’t do?... Why would I apologize for something I didn’t do?”
In a statement to The Root, the “Concerned African-American clergy and Allies” supporting Bloomer wrote: “We cannot remain silent in the face of racism, disrespect and ultimately the exploitation of our community and our faith.”
“We won’t stand for the exploitation of our community and faith, either” added the people who were locked out of Joel Osteen’s church during Hurricane Harvey.
“I know that’s right!” added Creflo Dollar from the stairs leading to the private jet purchased with thoughts and prayers, as the offering plate circled around once again for tithes, love offering, the pastor’s appreciation, the building fund and—of course—a cut for the white man who helps us spread God’s word.