Kirk Cameron, swim champion Riley Gaines and “Duck Dynasty” alum Missy Robertson said they were harassed by staff at a library in Tennessee where they spoke about traditional values about faith and family.
In the week leading up to the preapproved faith-based story hour event, Cameron’s publisher Brave Books said they had started to get pushback from the director at the Hendersonville library Allan Morales, Fox News reported. The publisher said Morales “did not want a movement coming to his library” after learning who Cameron was and that he would be joined by Robertson and Gaines. However, the publisher said when the “library’s board of directors and the community” learned this, they were for the story hour and “the library staff backed down.”
Robertson told us that she was “taken off guard” by what happened that day after being asked to be a guest reader of her book “Because You’re My Family.” Robertson and Cameron started filming at the library for their joint promo hours before the event and that’s when the first trouble started.
“We kept hearing all these noises, people laughing and talking,” Robertson shared. “And then it just kept getting louder and louder. It sounded like they were slamming books together and kicking cabinets. And Kirk and the head of the library [Morales] kind of had a couple of shouting exchanges. And I thought, okay, something’s going on here.”
Robertson said that things became “almost explosive” when it was Riley’s turn to do her promos and that’s when she turned on her camera.
Gaines — who has been open about having to compete against biological male trans swimmer Lia Thomas — talked to us about what happened. Video obtained by The Daily Wire from Robertson supported the accounts.
“I’m in front of the camera and I’m filming my piece and all the sudden the staff started blaring music,” Gaines told us. “And so I asked them, ‘hey guys we have sixty more seconds … I just need to film this one time and then you guys can play all the music you want.'”
“And so these older women, librarians, came out from behind the desk and they said ‘well, actually we’re not turning the music off. We’re using the music, this is how we cope, with the stress that you’re putting us under. We don’t have to turn the music off because it’s for our mental health,'” she added.
Gaines spoke to Allan about needing the music down and the librarians turned it off. However, as she started talking about her “personal experience in competing against” Thomas, sharing that it takes “power to stand in the truth” and acknowledge that men and women are, of course, separate, the staff started making noise again.
“These ladies are slamming books on the counter,” Gaines said. “They are stomping their feet, slamming books, and slamming doors. And screeching. I was so baffled by their behavior. So I went up to the desk and I was like ‘Are you guys serious? This is the most blatantly disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.'”
“We are supposed to live in a country where we have freedom of speech, freedom of religion,” she added. “Which those both were things that myself and Missy and Kirk were exercising. And to have people look at you like you don’t belong … is disgusting. And this was in my hometown, I was like, this was supposed to happen in California, not Tennessee.”
Robertson said, “This did not happen in California or New York, this happened in Nashville. People are moving from CA and NY to Nashville to get away from this kind of stuff. I told my husband and my father-in-law today, they are coming for our children … I saw it with my own eyes on Saturday and it scared me to death.”
“You know we’ve heard about all the transgender books and the Drag queen [events],” she added. “For some reason they’re not having problems putting that stuff in libraries, but talking about love and joy and gentleness, that’s a problem? We’re pretty messed up if that’s the standard that we are living by, teaching our children now.”
Chief of Staff at Brave Books, Zach Bell, called the encounter with Morales and his staff “just terrible.”
“We weren’t trying to be divisive … he [Morales] wanted to give us as little access to the library as possible, just the room that we had rented,” Bell shared. “The library director starts acting like a three year old … Him and two older ladies are clanging coins, playing music.”
“It’s as simple as this.” he added. “Allan didn’t know who Kirk Cameron was. He would’ve denied us the ability to come to the library. He doesn’t want this movement coming to his library … And when he found out who we were and what we we were doing who Kirk was … his goal was for us not to come.”
Gaines, Robertson, and Bell told us the staff also made it “difficult for people who were there to attend the event.” Riley explained that they wouldn’t let the attendees enter through the main entrance which she said they closed to people who were there for the event. She said the staff then made attendees “enter through a side door.”
Robertson said after the public library opened, the staff “made everyone stand out in the cold and rain.” She said when she left “there were hundreds of people and families lined up down the sidewalk, around the building and down the street standing in the cold.”
Bell told us they estimate that 700 people showed up for two book readings and said he wasn’t sure why the staff made the families stay out in the cold and rain until they all could filter into the conference room that held 300 people at a time.
The Daily Wire reached out to the Director of the Public library in Hendersonville, who told us that “with all the stuff that has gone back and forth” he would “not like to comment” and that he’s “going to stay out of it.”
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