FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
Posted on Sun, Jun. 17, 2007
“WE HAVE PREVAILED HERE!”
Over 1100 “No Shows” at DL Hughley’s Performance at Fort Worth Bass Hall
By MALCOLM MAYHEW- Special to the Star-Telegram
FORT WORTH -- Tom Franklin was one of the first to arrive for comedian D.L. Hughley's concert Saturday night at Bass Hall -- not to see the show, but to protest it.
"What he did was wrong," said Franklin, 70, a pastor at New Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Fort Worth. "He makes me ashamed to turn the TV on." Franklin was one of about 20 people who marched outside Bass Hall to protest comments that Hughley, a nationally known comedian and actor who had his own sitcom, made this month on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Discussing comments made by shock jock Don Imus about the Rutgers University women's basketball team -- comments that led to Imus' termination -- Hughley said, among other things, that the players were "some of the ugliest women" he had ever seen.
Hughley's comments have not gained as much national attention as Imus', but they have set off another round of free-speech debates on the radio and the Internet. Footage of Hughley's Tonight Show appearance has been viewed nearly 22,000 times on YouTube.
And on Friday, Hughley spent much of the day at local radio stations, discussing the controversy with community leaders and listeners. The controversy gave Hughley source material for Saturday's show. Seconds into his performance, he jokingly acknowledged the protest. "There's technology, people," he said. "Send an e-mail."
Audience members greeted Hughley with a standing ovation. But a heckler was removed by police and Bass Hall management and was issued a citation for criminal trespass, according to a Bass Hall spokesperson. "Thanks for your money!" Hughley said as the heckler was being escorted out of the building. Organizers said the protest was a success.
"We have prevailed here," said organizer Kyev Tatum, a pastor at Servant House Baptist Church in Fort Worth. "His performance is not well-attended. This is proof that this type of behavior will not be accepted." The show drew about 900 people, according to Bass Hall management. The venue holds 2,056. Many ticket holders said they were unfazed by Hughley's comments.
"He's a comedian. He's supposed to say things that may be offensive to some people," said Alexandra Hunt, 22. Chris McClure, 29, said he agrees -- to an extent. "This is America. You have a right to say whatever you want," he said. "But you do have to be careful now. ... If you're going to offend people, you better offend everyone."
FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
Posted on Fri, Jun. 15, 2007
COMEDIAN’S SHOW BOYCOTTED!
Fort Worth Black Ministers Tired of the Doubled Standards
By ANDREW CHAVEZ, Star-Telegram staff writer, Friday, June 15, 2007
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - As Juneteenth celebrations kick off across Texas, some local minority leaders plan to boycott an appearance by a comedian to express their disapproval of comments he made recently about African-Americans.
Comedian D.L. Hughley created an Internet buzz when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and discussed comments by Don Imus, a radio shock jock who was fired for comments he made about the Rutgers women's basketball team.
"He literally said the same thing" as Imus, said Eddie Griffin of Fort Worth, a self-proclaimed "old-school activist" who plans to participate in the boycott. "It was just heartbreaking."
Hughley will perform Saturday at Bass Hall as Juneteenth celebrations across North Texas go into full swing. The holiday is Tuesday. Hughley is unapologetic and said through his publicist that freedom of speech is "a zero sum proposition."
"Too many times I have watched clowns like these pretend to speak for the masses," he said. "Isn't there a child you can help teach to read, a war to help stop, an unjustly accused man you can help out of jail? I will not apologize for telling a joke about the world as I see it." Local leaders say the message is bad for the community. "It's their humanness that he's belittling and degrading and it's not just a joke," said the Rev. Kyev Tatum of Fort Worth, a pastor at Servant House Baptist Church. "Words hurt, especially when they're coming from someone of their own race."
Tom Franklin of Fort Worth, a pastor at New Mount Calvary Baptist Church, said Hughley represents a double standard for black and white comedians.
"This is not funny and we will not support a double standard in the name of free enterprise," Franklin said in a statement. The group plans a news conference today at noon at Servant House Baptist Church in Fort Worth. Hughley was scheduled to address the situation during an appearance on The Rickey Smiley Show at 6 a.m. today on KBFB/97.9 FM, according to a spokeswoman for Bass Hall.