The board of a library in northern Tennessee voted this week to fire the director of its Hendersonville library after he allegedly tried to sabotage a February event with Christian author and actor Kirk Cameron.
In a 4-3 vote, the members of the Sumner County Library Board booted Allan Morales, according to Sumner County Mayor John Isbell, who confirmed the ouster was “related to the Kirk Cameron event.”
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The event, slated for Feb. 25, included Cameron as well as former University of Kentucky women’s swimmer Riley Gaines and Missy Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame and was in conjunction with Brave Books, which sponsored the event, The Tennessean reported.
Robertson, presumably talking about Morales, said the unnamed man associated with the library was initially enthusiastic about the event but soon thereafter turned on the “Growing Pains” star after he learned of the celebrity’s Christian and conservative bonafides.
The former “Duck Dynasty” star made the comments last week on the “Unashamed with Phil & Jase Robertson” podcast.
“He started a campaign in the community to shut [the event] down without officially canceling it, because then he knew that it wouldn’t be good for their library,” Robertson said, seemingly referring to Morales.
According to The Tennessean, Gaines recalled feeling tension build when Cameron felt Morales was being too loud while he was trying to film a promotional video before the library was open to the public for the event. Gaines, for her part, said she was unaware if the disruption was intentional.
The former athlete, though, did become frustrated with other library employees, whom she believed were intentionally making loud noises during the filming session. Recalling the same incident, Robertson said staff members were banging books, kicking cabinets, and playing loud music.
Nevertheless, the event still moved forward as scheduled and was well-attended. But that didn’t stop the board from outing Morales as the director of the library.
Morales’ sister, Marilyn Kleist, said the decision to fire her brother “was not right.”
“That is shocking, and it’s sad, and it has literally divided a community,” she said. “It has, you know, branded the library team in ways that only told one side of the story.”
For his part, Morales seemed concerned with how big the Feb. 25 event was becoming in the days leading up to it. In an email dated Feb. 22, he explained to a representative of Brave Books, “Our invitation was sincere to read a book during our story time. We guard that time because it is for small children and not adults. We work hard at not promoting any agendas left or right.”
In the aftermath of his ouster, however, he is hoping to move on.
“I just have chosen not to say anything,” he told The Tennessean. “I don’t want to add to all this. I’m hoping now that they have fired me that the community can move on. There’s not much of a point to giving my side. At end of the day I don’t hate anybody.”
Gaines, it should be noted, took issue with the way the whole ordeal unfolded — including Morales’ firing.
“It’s not an accurate representation of Hendersonville, Gallatin, or Sumner County,” explained Gaines, a resident of Sumner County. “I hate that it resulted in termination. I don’t know if it was politically driven. There were bomb threats [reported], a lot of things going on [leading up to the event]. I don’t know if it is an accurate representation of him.”
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