From Roland S. Martin at the Essence.com blog:
BE's Butch Graves: Griffin broke agreement
DALLAS - As I sped down I-35 to appear on CNN to discuss the Eddie Griffin drama at the Black Enterprise golf and tennis gathering last week, BE CEO Butch Graves returned my call and shed some light on what took place.
Unfortunately, I couldn't take notes since I was doing nearly 100 on the freeway (had a speaking engagement at the University of North Texas), but here is the gist of the conversation:
Graves said that Griffin, known for his raunchy stand up, sent BE a DVD showcasing his clean show before he was hired to perform at the event. He said that BE put language in the contract stipulating that Griffin was to perform a clean show.
Shortly before taking the stage, Graves said BE officials, the sponsors of the evening, as well as Griffin's manager reminded him to keep it clean. But when he took the stage, that all went out the window, Graves said.
Graves, the son of BE founder Earl Graves, said that Griffin went on stage and instead of using the N-word, he would use m----rf----r instead. That led to a torrent of MF's that Graves says was beyond comprehension. He said Griffin then went on to talk about "killing white b-----s" and other language that was offensive.
It was at that point that BE officials cut off his microphone and proceeded to end his show.
Graves did acknowledge that BE was "culpable" for hiring Griffin, knowing full well that what transpired could take place since comedians are unpredictable.
But he made it clear that the kind of language Griffin used will not be tolerated by Black Enterprise because they believe in the upliftment of African Americans.
I find this interesting. You know,there are ' clean' comedians out there - why didn't BE hire one of them? But, if, as they are saying, they specifically told him they wanted a clean show, then he should have kept up with the bargain.
I do think this is related to the larger ' culture war' that has been simmering beneath the surface in the Black Community, but is now exploding, and folks are taking sides, and staking their claim.
Related blog entries on this topic:
Get this N#*$&# Out of Here. Comedian Chased by Black Enterprise Founder after Using N-word at Fundraiser
Eddie Griffin vs Earl Graves : N-Words Please