Over a hundred Black clergy are joining forces to protest the racially insensitive environment at The Word Network, a Christian T.V. station that sells itself as the world’s largest African-Ameican Religious Network that reaches 93 million homes in the U.S.
The network is owned by a white man named Kevin Adell, and pastors claim he has a history of outright racist actions. His biggest move came on September 19, 2019 when he sent a text message with a photo of himself dressed like a pimp surrounded by Black clergymen he deemed his “hoes.” This incident ignited a boycott against the Word Network kicked off on Change.org.
Preachers around the country have signed up to support the boycott, included Bishop George Bloomer, who is one of the preachers featured most prominently in Adell’s pimp photo. All the clergy are planning protests in Michigan and other targeted locations throughout the country. Archbishop E. Bernard Jordan, Zoe Ministries, Pastor Debra Jordan, Zoe Ministries, Pastor Larry Reid, Larry Reid Live, Vickie Yohe, Christian Recording Artist, Paul Crouch, Jr. Impact Network, Lisa Sharon Harper, Freedom Roads, and Rev. Anita Faye-Wilson ae just a few of the 100 preachers joining in the boycott.
Adell claims he didn’t create the racist pimp image, however, he also didn’t protest its circulation. In fact, he texted it to various staff, many of whom are Black, including Bishop Bloomer.
In the Change.org petition, it’s layed out that Bishop Bloomer tried to tell Adell, “This is not funny. This is not good. That pimp talk and hoe talk has racist connotations for Black people.” However, Adell texted Bishop Bloomer, witing “it’s funny and you should get over it.”
At one point, Adell went even further by photoshopping a picture of Bishop Bloomer in a white tuxedo and below the photo, he typed the text, “The show last night was good, Tattoo (the dwarf from the 1977 show “Fantasy Island” who went around calling Mr. Roarke “Boss”). In other words, Adell was calling Bishop Bloomer his Tattoo, while he was the “Boss.”
The last straw came when Bishop Bloomer texted Adell again saying, “This is not good. I don’t know what you are doing but stop playing.” Adell responded, “Oh, you’re too sensitive.” Bishop Bloomer tried to explain that what Adell was doing was similar to a white man wearing blackface. Bishop Bloomer told Adell once again, “Get rid of this. Stop playing with this.” Adell then texted Bishop Bloomer a picture of himself in a white tuxedo standing next to a friend of his also wearing a white tuxedo. Supposedly using a sharpie, he blacked out the face of the friend, thus producing blackface.
Bishop Bloomer ended up leaving The Word Network after this and now, he and the other clergy are demanding Adell publically apologize to Bishop Bloomer and the Black community and they also demand that cable companies drop The Word Network from their packages.
You can check out more of their demands at the Change.org petition here, which has since received over 3000 signatures.