Hold up! Is Dog The Bounty Hunter chasing a fugitive from justice? Or another 15 minutes of fame??
As we reported, over the weekend the reality star joined the search for Brian Laundrie — the fiancé of the late Gabby Petito as well as the glaring person of interest in the investigation into her homicide.
Duane “Dog” Chapman has already made headlines after finding a campsite the 23-year-old stayed at with his parents after he returned home from the ill-fated road trip. He even forced the family’s hand as their lawyer had to come out and admit they all went camping in the days before Gabby’s disappearance became the most talked-about missing persons case in the country. The reality star contends the Laundries left Brian there to get a head start on police and have been lying to authorities — something their attorney is of course NOT copping to.
According to the newlywed, whose bride Francie is along for the ride, he’s hot on the trail, even posting video updates on his Instagram page about it.
The most recent report claims Dog has brought in the dogs! According to a Fox News story, the manhunter — who has been island-hopping around the Florida coastline in a rented boat — “contracted a private search and rescue K-9 team” on Wednesday afternoon. The three-dog team is reportedly helping him search an island called Egmont Key near St. Petersburg. His most recent IG video, in which he says he is in the middle of “an active and specific search in a key area” is apparently from the location:
It’s more than we’ve gotten from the giant search being executed by law enforcement, and we have to admit, it’s all very exciting thinking we could see Brian perp-walked through a Florida police station door by the mulleted TV star live on social media.
But is this actually in pursuit of justice for Gabby and her family? Or is it all just to get back in the good graces of his key demo??
According to a report out Wednesday from Variety, the 68-year-old is currently in talks for another TV show — even as he’s supposed to be focused on this crucial search. The rag reports Thinkfactory Media, the company behind WE tv‘s Marriage Boot Camp and Honey Boo Boo spinoff Mama June: From Not to Hot, are shopping a new Dog series off the heat being generated from the manhunt.
Chapman has had a tough time getting back on TV in recent years. His first show, which began in 2004, was nearly cut short in 2007 after a scandal in which he was revealed to have used racial slurs. But after an apology, Dog the Bounty Hunter finished a run of eight years on A&E and was followed by the couple-centric Dog and Beth: On the Hunt and Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives, the 2017 special about his late wife Beth Chapman‘s cancer battle.
However, when he tried to get started with a more recent show, Dog’s Unleashed for the UnleashedTV streaming service, that was canned in March over another racism scandal. The company told E! News that an independent firm’s investigation found Chapman “used racial and homophobic epithets to attack young African-American kids who star with his daughter” in a show on UTV. Yeah, gross af.
It’s been hard for Dog to recover from those kinds of revolting revelations — but these Brian Laundrie headlines may actually turn out to be lifelines helping him get out from under that cloud! We mean, can you imagine if Chapman is actually the one to catch the fugitive in the viral case?? He’ll become a legend. A problematic legend. But a legend still. How could he not get a TV show out of it? The question is… is that why he’s been doing it all along?
For what it’s worth, Dog said the search wasn’t about personal glory:
“It doesn’t matter who catches him. We just want to do everything we can to help bring Brian in safely.”
Y’all buying this?? And if he does bring in Brian… Do you care??
[Image via Dog The Bounty Hunter/Brian Laundrie/Instagram.]