Why is A&E rewarding its misbehaving Dog?

Dogthebountyhunter_lLast fall, A&E indefinitely suspended production of Dog the Bounty Hunter after a recording surfaced of its star, Duane "Dog" Chapman (pictured), spewing racist insults. Good call. (The extremely NSFW clip in question is here.) But hey, turns out by "indefinitely suspended" they meant "a few months’ vacation and then we’re back," because A&E just confirmed that they’re airing a new season of Dog’s reality show this summer. Excuse me, what?

Look, I get that Dog apologized. Maybe he’s even telling the truth when he says he’s a really nice, tolerant guy who just happened to use a vile slur on tape that one time. But does he really deserve to stay on the air after making that kind of mistake? Couldn’t A&E find any telegenic bail bondspeople who don’t say disgustingly hateful things in their free time? (Because, y’know, they couldn’t do without a bounty hunting show for long — A&E stands for "Arts & Entertainment & Also Some Bounty Hunting," after all.) Meanwhile, I hope this flack’s boss gave him a healthy bonus for making it through this quote with a straight face: "Said A&E spokesman Michael Feeney, ‘It’s not about ratings…. We know his heart. We know him and know he’s not a racist.’" You tell me. Is there any conceivable reason other than ratings that could have inspired the network to hold on to Dog?

Comments (25 total) Add your comment
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  • Nat

    You’ve just spurred me to write my first ever email to a network.


    How about we tape record every private conversation you’ve ever had and screen through them for anything that would offensive to anyone. If you survive that type of screening then maybe you can pontificate about how evil The Dog is. We all make mistakes and say things we shouldn’t, that doesn’t mean we should be unemployed. Fact of the matter is that Dog was set up. For some reason you want him held to a higher standard than pretty much anyone else out there and that makes no sense. He apologized, move on. If America doesn’t accept the apology, they won’t watch.

  • Snarf

    Lack of anything else to air?
    While his comment was highly offensive, most people (of all colours and creeds)are a little bit racist or gayist or elitist..well, you get the drift.

  • Dtom

    I agree with Chris. I’ve always felt that we should let the market be the judge. I don’t watch this show, never did, and won’t now. But if A&E wants to air it, let them. When no one watches, then they’ll have their answer.

  • mjb

    I agree it was an offensive comment, but he made it during a private conversation that was taped by his son. The whole thing was smarmy. If you watched his CNN interview, the public seemed in Dog’s corner — let the viewer’s decide. How is this any worse than what Howard Stern did with Dolly Parton’s audio book? More offensive and completely racist as well.

  • Thecookie

    What a sad commentary on the state of network television.


  • Betty

    I say let the viewers be the judge. He’s not the first person (celeb or not) to say something racist, lose his job and then be rehired. I have watched and will continue to watch his show.

  • Jonny

    I would like to know why everyone in this day and age gets so easily ofended! The feminization of this country continues to disgust me!

  • Cashton

    It’s the content of what he said to his son on that tape that disturbs me – it revealed his character. Whether you like it or not – he purposely was telling his son to break up with his girlfriend because she was black and that if he stayed with her she might get offended by their use of the “the word”. That type of behavior is racist and offensive. By him being able to keep his show on the air it shows that A&E condones this behavior and promotes it. And I am sure his ratings will be fine – as evidenced by the vote in W. Virginia – their hero is back on the air. So sad…

  • BrianS

    this show sucks, unless you consider trailer-trash “entertainment”–but lets face it, attempting to punish people FOR LIFE for a fkn verbal slur is something only a self-righteous jackass would condone!

  • keeping it real…

    I agree with Chris….we are all guilty of saying something offensive in a convo, if we were all to be secretly taped we would find that most people if not all, sometimes say inappropriate and offensive things they do not mean directly to a person or culture. Dog apologized, whether we choose to believe him or not is our own issue. I will be one to say that when his show comes back on, I will watch it.

  • Kai-

    The reason behind A&E decision can be summed up in a few words “Train Wreck TV”. Now everyone will be watching to see if he says or does anything like in in the future.

  • Donald Johnson

    DOG has done a lot of good, helped a lot of people, a lot of people are aware of how bad drugs are. That was a private conversation of a man trying to save his son from drugs, and a lifestyle that ended up with him back in jail for the drug abuse Dog was trying to stop. I would do anything to save my child. That girl had tried to set Dog up before, its was a setup. Good on AE to give the man a second chance, nice to see someone who tries to improve himself rather than fakes like Hogan or Gene Simmons

  • Tina

    I have never watched the show anyway but EVERYONE has said something racist or negative about a different race. Frankly I could care less and I’m Black. I have had worse said to my IN MY FACE! If you don’t agree with what someone said, don’t watch the show. I stopped watching Bill Murher (whatever his name is) after he said, on his ABC show, that some children like being molested. After that I haven’t watched him. People have the option to turn the channel.

  • Al

    If a relative of yours says something inappropriate that you don’t agree with, does that mean you’ll never talk to them again?

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