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Library director fired after Kirk Cameron & Riley Gaines complained about him

Library director fired after Kirk Cameron & Riley Gaines complained about him
Kirk CameronPhoto: Screenshot

A library director at Tennessee’s Hendersonville Public Library was fired after right-wing celebrities made a stink about not being treated well while promoting their children’s books.

The Sumner County Library Board voted 4-3 on Wednesday to fire Allan Morales after former child star Kirk Cameron, Duck Dynasty star Missy Robertson, and former swimmer Riley Gaines accused library staff of being rude and unwelcoming during an event for Cameron’s book tour that also included a reading of Robertson’s book from the same publisher.

The tour is meant to be a direct antithesis to Drag Queen Story Hour events. Cameron told the Washington Examiner he was fighting “the storm of wokeism that appears to be sweeping the nation and sucking their children into its vortex” and that his goal is to “take back the hearts and minds of our children.”

Cameron, who supported former president Donald Trump in 2016, made headlines in 2012 for anti-LGBTQ+ comments he made on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. “I think that it’s unnatural,” he said. “I think that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”

Gaines, a special guest at the event, became an anti-trans, far-right spokesperson after tying with trans swimmer Lia Thomas during a collegiate competition.

According to Robertson, the trouble at the library began while the celebrities attempted to film promotional videos for Cameron’s biblical-themed children’s book, As You Grow, as well as Robertson’s book, Because You’re My Family.

“They’re slamming books together. They’re kicking cabinets. They’re hollering out loud,” Robertson said during a podcast interview. She also claimed the library forced hundreds of parents and children to wait outside in the rain for the event to begin.

Gaines told a similar story to the Daily Wire, and the publisher, Brave Books, named Morales specifically as one of the library leaders causing pushback.

Brave Books – whose mission is to teach children to “love their God and country” and “withstand harmful progressive influences” – told Fox News Digital that library staff had originally tried to cancel the event but the library board stepped in.

Cameron had previously complained that more than 50 public libraries across the U.S. told Brave Books they were not interested in hosting his events. The Rochambeau Public Library in Providence, Rhode Island, reportedly told the publisher, “We are a very queer-friendly library. Our messaging does not align.” Speaking to Fox News, Cameron and his publisher blasted the libraries for hosting LGBTQ+ programs but not his readings.

“As Bibles are literally being removed from schools and libraries — and as Christianity, and faith, and the Ten Commandments are being taken out of schools and replaced with toxic ideas like transgenderism, CRT, and the 1619 Project, I’m looking to fight back,” Cameron said at the time.

Right-wing coverage of the library staff’s alleged mishandling of Cameron’s event reportedly led to the library receiving multiple threats, including a bomb threat. Many called for consequences for the staff, claiming they violated Cameron’s First Amendment rights, according to WKRN.

Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary defended the staff, writing on Facebook, “The library staff has been vilified unfairly. Fox News, a national outlet with nobody in Hendersonville this past week, took a comment from the publishing company that was terribly inaccurate.”

Nevertheless, Morales was ousted as library director.

“To terminate him so publicly. That was not right. That’s not right, that I know for sure,” Morales’s sister, Marilyn Kleist, told Nashville’s NewsChannel5.

Kleist called the situation “shocking” and “sad.”

“It has literally divided a community. It has, you know, branded the library team in ways that only told one side of the story.”

According to Kleist, Cameron, Henderson, and Gaines did not attend the board meeting at which Morales was fired. She maintained that there is more to the story, but did not say what it was.

“I was hoping that they would also be held accountable. And that would be brought to light but, it wasn’t. And today Allan did not get an opportunity to speak. He was asked to show up at the hearing and was pretty much invisible. I hope that the rest of the side of the rest of the story comes out.”

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