Pastor Jamal Bryant's Rebuke: Ebony Magazine Issues Statement
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The trouble started with Ebony's March issue - dubbed The Real-Life Scandal Issue - in which editors ran an article titled "Simply Scandalous." They rounded up a list of more than 60 of the "most jaw-dropping and memorable scandals of all time."
In the section highlighting controversies with religious leaders, it was written that Bryant had been "accused of extramarital affairs, including one rumor that he impregnated a 17-year-old church member."
To be clear, Ebony did state that it was a rumor, and even when detailing the outcome of the drama, the magazine noted that "Bryant's popularity and ministry have not wavered at Empowerment Temple." Even still, Bryant was not pleased.
In an open letter to Ebony titled "Pastor Jamal Bryant Rebukes EBONY," Bryant took to the internet to voice his concerns:
For 67 years Ebony Magazine has been the drum beat for culture in the African-American community. John Johnson, its beloved founder, dedicated his life to safe guarding our image with great integrity.
The March 2013 edition has left a hole in my heart. On page 124 they published that it's alleged I impregnated a 17-year-old member of my church. This accusation is categorically and completely untrue. To publish this with absolutely no source lends itself to reckless endangerment to my children, my congregation and my community.
Ebony is not the National Enquirer. A higher standard is required and the statement jeopardizes my ministry to the youth in my church and community. So it is on moral grounds that a retraction is necessary.
In 2007 I participated in an extramarital affair that resulted ultimately in the termination of my marriage to my incredible wife Gizelle. NO minors were involved but my minor children have been affected. I don't want them to have to live through any further unnecessary pain.
Matthew 18:15 say's if your brother has sinned against you go and tell him his fault. I solicit your continued prayers for my family, forgiveness for myself and accountability from Ebony magazine.
Flawed but faithful. I remain,
(A Father and Pastor)
Then, less than 24 hours later, Ebony issued a response:
We understand that Dr. Jamal H. Bryant is now getting inquiries regarding a rumor we referenced in the magazine. We published the outrageous allegation as it was scandalous, not because it was confirmed. We did not intend to offend Dr. Bryant, and hope that our readers understand the spirit in which the editorial comment was presented.
Apparently, the statement was enough to satisfy Bryant. "Thankfully Ebony magazine expressed a verbal apology as well as a written statement of clarification - which Dr. Bryant has accepted," said Nicole S. Kirby, Bryant's public relations director, on Monday in a conversation with The Christian Post.
Hopefully, this will cease any further conflict between the two parties.
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