A&E Television said it suspended Duane “Dog” Chapman after learning late Wednesday of an audiotape featuring Chapman repeatedly using the n-word.
The surfacing of the audio clip, featured prominently by the National Enquirer on its Web site, could threaten one of A&E’s flagship programs.
“A&E has just learned of the story released by the National Enquirer concerning Duane Dog Chapman. We take this matter very seriously. Pending an investigation, we have suspended production on the series. When the inquiry is concluded, we will take appropriate action,” A&E said in a prepared statement Thursday.
On the audiotape, Chapman is heard using the n-word several times in a telephone conversation with his son Tucker. Chapman expresses his displeasure that Tucker is dating an African American, warning that she could jeopardize the show if she overhears Chapman and his team using the n-word.
“I don’t care if she’s a Mexican, a whore, whatever. It’s not because she’s black. It’s because we use the word n----- sometimes here,” Chapman tells his son. “I’m not going to take a chance ever in life of losing everything I’ve worked for 30 years because some fu—ing n---- heard us saying n-----.”
While A&E has suspended additional production of Dog The Bounty Hunter episodes, executives at the network have not yet decided whether they’ll continue to carry episodes that have already been produced, a source said.
The next episode of Dog The Bounty Hunter is scheduled to run Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Dog and his posse were still featured prominently on A&E’s Web site Thursday afternoon.