Last 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?