A Tennessee library director was fired after actor and author Kirk Cameron accused him of “unkind” treatment during a Christian children’s reading event.
The Sumner County Library Board booted Allan Morales from his Hendersonville library post Wednesday in a 4-3 vote in relation “to the Kirk Cameron event,” the Tennessean reported.
Morales allegedly ruffled Cameron’s feathers when the “Growing Pains” actor came to the city, just 18 miles east of Nashville, on Feb. 25 to promote his spiritual children’s book, “As You Grow.”
“Despite the rain and the unkind pushback (from one disgruntled librarian), an OVERFLOW crowd of families, mayors, county commissioners, and celebs welcomed and joined us at the library in Hendersonville, TN. for singing the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, praying and teaching faith in God and moral values to our kids,” Cameron wrote in a Facebook post three days after the event.
The event — which also included former University of Kentucky women’s swimmer Riley Gaines and Missy Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” — was expected to draw a big crowd, which caused Morales to become concerned over the limited space inside the local branch.
“Our invitation was sincere to read a book during our story time,” Morales told a representative of Brave Books, who joined forces with Kirk on the book, in a Feb. 22 email obtained by the Tennessean.
“We guard that time because it is for small children and not adults. We work hard at not promoting any agendas left or right.”
Morales tried convincing the publisher to move the event to a church in the city, a suggestion that was ultimately brushed off.
The event was held at the Hendersonville library as planned, where children happily sat on the floor of a packed room.
Gaines — who has stirred up headlines by speaking out against allowing transgender athletes to compete — told the outlet the tension between Morales and Cameron was palpable leading up to and throughout the entire event.
Cameron accused Morales of speaking too loud during a promotional filming session inside the library, though the swimmer is unsure Morales did so intentionally.
“It’s not an accurate representation of Hendersonville, Gallatin or Sumner County,” Gaines, a local to Sumner County, said.
“I hate that it resulted in termination. I don’t know if it was politically driven. There were bomb threats, a lot of things going on. I don’t know if it is an accurate representation of him.”
Hendersonville police arrested 49-year-old Mark Frakl Thursday for allegedly making the bomb threats last month and for repeatedly harassing the library staff from his Connecticut home.
He had sent at least 14 emails over a short period of time threatening “death and blowing up the building,” police said.
The defeated former director didn’t say whether he felt strife with the actor, but wished to leave the incident behind.
“I just have chosen not to say anything,” Morales said. “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.”
Brave Books did not immediately respond to a request for comment.