Kevin Adell, the white owner and CEO of the Word Network, which is billed “the largest, African American religious network in the WORLD,” has apologized for sharing a meme that depicts him pimping popular black preachers.
“When I set out to create The Word Network 20 years ago, it was my goal to provide a platform that would spread the word of God and continue to build His kingdom by providing hope and inspiration to those who felt hopeless and voiceless, but I didn’t build this ministry alone. The Word Network is only where it is today because of stellar, committed visionaries, who are passionate about changing lives and making our world a better place. I am grateful beyond measure for each and every one of them,” Adell began in a statement released through The Foster Jones Group and shared with The Christian Post on Friday.
“With that said, the recent allegations made against me, based on a visual that wasn’t created by me, were clearly disturbing and don’t depict who I am, nor my character. To Bishop George Bloomer, whom I have tremendous respect for, worked with for nearly a decade, called a friend over the years and shared many laughs, I apologize profusely. I, too, am hurt by the allegations from someone who I held in the highest esteem and partnered with to spread the gospel,” he continued. “I have also sought counsel from African American clergy, many who comprise The Word Network, and others who I respect and are not affiliated with the network.”
Adell’s statement comes weeks after he refused to apologize to Bloomer, 56, a longtime televangelist and founder of Bethel Family Worship Center in Durham, North Carolina, who is at the center of the allegations against him.
Bloomer alleged that in September, Adell texted a photoshopped image of himself dressed as a pimp surrounded by well-known black clergy he called “hoes” to various staff members, many of whom are black, according to a Change.org petition. While Bloomer said he told Adell that the meme wasn’t funny and to get rid of it, Adell allegedly responded by saying Bloomer was being too sensitive.
Bloomer recently left the network as a result of the meme controversy but Adell disputed that charge as well.
Adell said Bloomer “quit the network … because he wanted more air time” and Bloomer didn’t want to make adjustments to the show as suggested by staff. Bloomer, Adell argued, was trying to stir up controversy with the meme “to get support to hopefully make changes so he could get back on the air.”
Adell further noted that more than 95% of his 160 employees are African American.
In an interview with CP on Friday, apostle W.J. Rideout III, senior pastor of All God’s People Church in Detroit, Michigan, said his show on The Word Network was also canceled due to a disagreement with Adell. Rideout also said he didn’t buy the CEO’s apology.
“That wasn’t a true apology coming from Kevin Adell, that’s a third party apology. …Kevin Adell don’t apologize. Kevin Adell has pride. … He’s the type that feels like he’s right even when he’s double wrong. I’ve been around him, I’ve worked under him. This guy lies in his sleep, lies when he stands up, he lies when there is no reason to lie. Nobody should trust Kevin right now,” added Rideout, who led a protest at The Word Network’s Southfield, Michigan, headquarters a week ago.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair