Dog Chapman show returning
|Photo gallery: Dog Chapman is back|
By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dan Nakaso
The fifth season of the reality show "Dog the Bounty Hunter" begins airing July 16 with a contrite Duane "Dog" Chapman vowing to regulate his words, swear less and pay a penalty every time he does.
"You know the saying, 'Sticks and stones can break your bones and names will always hurt you?' I've learned that," Chapman said yesterday at a media availability announcing the resumption of the A&E reality series, which chronicles the adventures of Chapman and his Honolulu bounty-hunting crew.
"The Bible says the tongue is the most powerful member of the body," Chapman said. "That's absolutely true. I've learned to watch my mouth and watch the names I use, whether they be racial or whatever. You can hurt people's feelings just with your mouth."
On Nov. 2, A&E suspended the show — one of its highest rated — after Chapman used the n-word when referring to his son Tucker's African-American girlfriend. The private call had been recorded and Chapman apologized afterward.
The new season includes a penalty jar at Chapman's Da Kine Bail Bonds on Queen Emma Street awaiting a cash contribution each time Chapman swears.
His wife, Beth, interchangeably called it "the swear jar" and "the 'F' jar" yesterday.
Asked what the "F" stood for, Beth said, "The Florida fund. His children would love to go to a trip to Florida."
"Each word has its own price tag," Beth Chapman said. "We have a lengthy list that's still going to hit him."
Episodes of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" typically include plenty of bleeped-out words, and Duane Chapman did not promise yesterday that he would never swear again. Neither did Beth.
When he tells Beth that she should watch her language, too, "I tell him, 'You said you'd stop swearing. I never said I'd stop swearing,'" Beth Chapman said.
Yesterday's media availability included some of Chapman's bounty-hunting children: Leland, Duane Lee and "Baby" Lyssa. Niger Innis, national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, also granted interviews and showed his support for Duane Chapman.
Early episodes of the fifth season follow the bounty hunters tracking down bail jumpers on O'ahu and Maui, and helping their friend, Bobby Brown, in Colorado.
The new episodes will not include references to Chapman's use of the n-word — or his efforts to apologize — unless a criminal spontaneously brings it up in future filming, said Scott Lonker, A&E's vice president for nonfiction and alternative programming.
Chapman made a concerted effort to show African-American leaders that he was not a racist and that he genuinely regretted his remarks, Lonker said.
None of his efforts were filmed at Chapman's request, Lonker said.
"That's kind of phony, you know what I mean," Chapman said. "The private things you do are private. You shouldn't be showing off that you do that."
Asked if it was suggested that his efforts to repair his reputation would make for good reality television, Chapman said, "A lot of people suggested a lot of things: Act like you were drunk and go to the Betty Ford Clinic. Go with Tony Robbins and sit in Fiji. ... We have to take our lumps."
Alphonso Braggs, president of the Hawai'i chapter of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People, said Chapman still hasn't healed the damage he caused.
"I'd be happy to sit down with him and help him understand how African-Americans, particularly African-Americans in Hawai'i, feel about him," Braggs said. "We don't feel he's been remorseful or contrite. There's a strong resentment to what he has done.
"A&E had a real opportunity to stand for some values. Instead, things are right back to where they once were.
"This boils down to high-profile celebrities who are able to do these types of inappropriate behaviors with little or no consequence. What message does that send?"
SIDEKICK OFF SHOW
The fifth season of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" also won't include Tim Chapman, who shares Duane's name but is not related.
Tim Chapman faces a charge of first-degree terroristic threatening after security guards at Ala Moana Center responded to reports of a man fondling himself in a pickup truck in January.
Chapman's attorney said at the time that Tim Chapman had spilled orange juice on himself and was trying to change clothes.
A&E executives yesterday said that they never seriously considered canceling the series.
"It never got to that point," said Dan Silberman, A&E's vice president of publicity. "We took a wait-and-see approach."
Aside from his own efforts at reconciliation, Chapman insisted yesterday that no one has mentioned the n-word incident to him.
"No one's brought it up in the last year," Chapman said.
Ads for the new season feature the phrase, "I believe everyone deserves a second chance. Do you?"
"I love it," the bounty hunter said. "I think it's great."
Reach Dan Nakaso at email@example.com.