Is Dog the Bounty Hunter headed back to the TV airwaves?
Could be, if the wags at TMZ are correct.
Neither Dog’s camp or A & E Network could be reached for comment.
The “Dog the Bounty Hunter” was a mainstay of Arts and Entertainment Network’s line-up and many fans have vowed not to watch the network until the Dog’s show returns to the airwaves.
The following piece showed up at TMZ a couple of hours ago is any indication.
Duane “Dog” Chapman looked relaxed and happy, taking a break from his Tour of Contrition ’07 for a little R&R last night — could it be because his show is on its way back on the air?
Sources tell TMZ that the network is very pleased with the progress Dog has made with African-American leaders, but nothing has been decided yet about the return of “Dog the Bounty Hunter.”
Meanwhile, we spotted Dog kicking back — and throwing some shakas — at a housewarming party for designer Christian Audigier. Chill, brother!
We’ve chronicled the fall and chastisement of Duane “Dog” Chapman at DBKP and how fans have rallied around the rough-and-tumble star of TV’s Dog the Bounty Hunter.
We’ve also wrote about his good faith efforts to educate himself and overcome some of the habits from his rough youth.
Additionally, we’ve been impressed by the reaching out by Afro-American groups to the Dog. These groups, such as Brotherhood of a New Destiny in the Los Angeles area and Congress of Racial Equality in New York, have used this episode to educate, not only the Dog, but America at large, about the power of words.
Roy Innis, one of the original Freedom Riding civil rights pioneers, is mentoring the Dog and will be trying to answer any questions Duane Chapman has as he struggles to forge a new future from a rough past.
And if there’s anyone who’s familiar with struggles–it’s Roy Innis.
Brian McLaughlin, a CORE spokesman, was equally impressed with the Dog’s attitude.
“Duane Chapman was contrite and offered no excuses. He didn’t try to waffle. He was genuine. He said ‘I was wrong’. The feeling here was that Dog was a ‘man’s man’ by owning up to his actions and wanting to change.”
Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of BOND, seemed equally impressed with Dog’s sincerity.
“We don’t condone racial slurs, but upon hearing Dog’s apology and after meeting with him and his family, we don’t believe he’s a racist. We also believe that Duane “Dog” Chapman sincerely wants to make amends to the black community, and deserves a second chance.”
These groups have used the whole Dog episode to raise a discussion about a lot of good points.
One of those points is forgiveness and redemption.
Dog Chapman will be in L.A. tomorrow, signing books, meeting fans and helping BOND raise money at the group’s toy giveaway for kids. All the proceeds from Dog’s appearance will be donated to the BOND Home for Boys, a worthy cause if ever there was one.
Whether the Bounty Hunter gets his show back or not, he’s learning an important lesson: the power of words.
As someone close to the Dog stated: “Dog hurt his fans and he never, ever wanted to hurt his fans. If he had stopped and thought that what he was saying was hurtful and would have made his fans hurt, I think it would have stopped him in his tracks right then and there.”
So the Duane “Dog” Chapman appears to be on the right track.
As we stated, if TMZ is to be believed, rumors are rumbling that he may make it all the way back to the TV airwaves.
Different groups have stated what many fans have stated in email to DBKP: that deep down Dog is a good man, not a racist.
At the end of the day, it may be that single fact, that Duane Chapman was a good, though in the case of his exposed phone call, ignorant, man.
That single fact may be what saved Dog the Bounty Hunter: that Duane Chapman is at heart a good man.