The Word Network CEO Kevin Adell says he "apologize[s] profusely" to Bishop George Bloomer for sharing an offensive and racist meme with him. Adell released his statement in response to recent allegations of racism and a petition demanding that he apologize.
The white owner of the world's "largest African-American religious network" shared an offensive meme depicting him as a pimp surrounded by prominent black preachers who had appeared on his network. In response, more than 100 black clergy signed a petition calling for viewers to boycott the Word Network until Adell apologized.
Adell released his statement on Nov. 4, saying that the allegations against him, "based on a visual that wasn't created by me, were clearly disturbing and don't depict who I am, nor my character."
But Bloomer says he isn't satisfied with Adell's statement. He says Adell only released it because of the intense backlash his network received. He also says Adell has never reached out to him to apologize.
"It says he that he apologized profusely, but I've not heard from him," Bloomer says. "... I never got the letter. I never got an email. No one reached out to me. I found out about the letter because someone in this office sent it to a blogger, and the blogger posted the letter."
He also says he never accused Adell of making the meme—just of sharing it and laughing about it. Bloomer hosted the Spiritual Authority television show on the Word Network for 17 years until he quit on Sept. 14 as a result of the meme controversy.
Although a video several months ago claimed Bloomer was fired and misappropriated funds, the longtime preacher says these allegations are simply not true. Nor is it true, he says, that he quit because he wanted more air time, as Adell told the Detroit Free Press on Oct. 15. Bloomer says the racist meme was the wake-up call he needed to realize he had to leave.
Bloomer says Adell approached him saying he wanted to show him something. When Adell showed him the meme, Bloomer says he immediately responded, saying, "Get rid of that! That is a problem. Why do you even have that?"
Later, while walking out to his car, Bloomer says he received a text message from Adell containing the offensive image. Bloomer shared with Charisma News screenshots of the text message exchange.
Bloomer replied to Adell's text, saying: "That's not funny. That's not funny, it has a racist connotation to it. Get rid of that as quickly as you possibly can. It's not funny. It's equivalent to a black face being put on a white man. I'm telling you it's not funny."
The text-message screenshots reveal Adell responding "Lol" and accusing Bloomer of being too sensitive.
In his Nov. 7 statement, Adell said he has "tremendous respect" for Bloomer, whom he "worked with for nearly a decade, called a friend over the years and share many laughs."
But Bloomer says he's only seen Adell around 40 times in person.
"I never had lunch with him," he says. "I never had a Christmas party with him. I never have been in his car and never have been to his house."
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