Dog the Bounty Hunter Responds to Accusations of Racism & Homophobia
Last month, Chapman’s daughter Bonnie Chapman accused her father of racism and homophobia in a lengthy Facebook statement. Bonnie claimed that she wasn’t invited to Chapman’s upcoming wedding to his fiancée Francie Frane because of her support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t defend my Dad’s racism,” Bonnie said before claiming Chapman was fired from the streaming platform UnleashedTV, which hosts the social justice show The System. “My father was fired by the platform for using racial and homophobic epithets toward my fellow cast members on the show, which is about social justice advocacy and protesting violence and racial bias by police,” she stated.
Chapman has denied these accusations in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight‘s Kevin Frazier. “I have never been a racist. I’m 33 1/2 percent Apache,” he told Frazier, who is Black. “I thought I had a pass in the Black tribe to use it, kind of like Eminem,” he continued.
In 2007, the former A&E star faced backlash when the National Enquirer made public a taped phone call in which he repeatedly used racist language, including the N-word. Chapman would later apologize for his comments, saying he was “deeply disappointed” in himself. His Dog the Bounty Hunter show was put on hiatus in the aftermath, though production resumed a year later.
“I had just gotten out of prison in 1979 after spending 18 months in Texas, and it was probably three-quarters from the Black tribe,” Chapman explained to Frazier. “So, that was a word that we used back and forth as maybe a compliment. My pass expired for using it, but no one told me that. To say a racist name doesn’t qualify to make you a racist.”
After Chapman said he “has more Black friends than Eminem,” Frazier called him out on using the “proximity argument.” The reality star used the same argument when denying the accusations of being homophobic, saying, “I have three people on my staff that are gay men. My daughter [Lyssa] is gay. I don’t understand why anybody would ever say that.”
“I hear what you’re saying, but remember proximity does not mean that you are not racist or homophobic,” Frazier replied before an emotional Chapman said, “Would I die for a gay man or a Black man? I’d lay down my life.”