Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, is offering an explanation for why he previously used the N-word.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight that published on Wednesday, Sept. 1, the 68-year-old reality TV star and fiancée Francie Frane discussed the fact that his 22-year-old daughter, Bonnie, was not invited to their upcoming nuptials that will take place on Thursday, Sept. 2. In a recent social media post, Bonnie accused her father of racism and said she believes she wasn't invited because of her involvement in an UnleashedTV project called The System, which focuses on people supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
"As hard as it is and as heartbreaking as it is, we had to make a decision that was very difficult for us," Francie said in explaining why Bonnie wasn't invited. "We've been through hell, him and I, in the past three years... And I am not going to allow our day to be ruined by this nonsense."
For his part, Dog told ET that he doesn't consider himself to be racist but admitted using the N-word multiple times "over 15 years ago" when referencing his son Tucker's partner during a phone conversation. The conversation was leaked to the media in 2007 and led A&E to temporarily pause production on Dog the Bounty Hunter, but the show later resumed following Dog's public apology.
"I have never been a racist—I'm 33.5 percent Apache—but because of over 15 years ago, I have an Achilles' heel because I used the wrong word," Dog said to the outlet. "I thought I had a pass in the Black tribe to use it, kind of like Eminem."
When reporter Kevin Frazier asked who gave him the so-called pass, Dog discussed his time in prison that ended with his 1979 release on first-degree murder charges. "I had just gotten out of prison in 1979 after spending time, 18 months in Texas, and it was probably three-fourths from the Black tribe," Dog recalled. "So that was a word that we used back and forth, as maybe a compliment. My pass expired for using it, but no one told me that."
On Aug. 24, Bonnie posted to Facebook that Francie recently texted her confirming that "the reason I wasn't invited to my dad's wedding is my choice to participate in social justice and BLM protests with The System."
Bonnie reportedly joined the show two months after UnleashedTV canceled Dog's own series, Dog Unleashed, in March 2021. Unleashed Entertainment President CEO Mike Donovan previously told E! News in a statement that production on Dog Unleashed had ceased in light of the results of an independent firm's investigation into Dog's conduct.
Donovan said the firm monitored "hundreds of hours of video and audio footage," with his statement alleging, "Mr. Chapman used racial and homophobic epithets to attack young African-American kids who star with his daughter in UTV's The System, a show that profiles police misconduct and follows protests against white supremacy in policing."
In her Facebook post, Bonnie claimed she believed Dog was upset that she didn't disassociate herself from Unleashed after it canceled his show. "I have expressed time and time again my ever-growing disappointment in my father's progression into his old racist ways," she wrote at the time.
In the ET interview, Dog also addressed Bonnie's claims that he cheated on her mom Beth, who died in June 2019 following a battle with throat cancer.
After Dog said he "never" cheated on Beth, Kevin pushed him on Bonnie's claim that Dog cheated on his late wife with the mom of Bonnie's friend while Beth was in the hospital.
"Beth was in the hospital three times—I was there every single second with her," Dog said. "I went home the night before she passed away with her mother and her sisters because they said, 'She won't pass away, Dog, with you standing there.' So I left. Three hours later, she passed away. So when did I have time? I am a good man. I would have never done that."
In a statement sent to E! News at the time of Bonnie's post, Dog denied his daughter's accusations by writing in part, "Bonnie's allegations are false and a misguided attempt to derail our wedding."