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A&E collars 'Dog' after racial slurs

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UPDATED 1:05 p.m. Nov. 1

A&E Network has stopped production on its hit series "Dog the Bounty Hunter" after audio clips featuring star Duane "Dog" Chapman using racial slurs were posted online.

A&E issued a statement saying it is looking into the issue after two private phone conversations in which Chapman uses a racial epithet in reference to his son's girlfriend were posted online Wednesday by the National Enquirer.

"A&E has just learned of the story released by the National Enquirer concerning Duane 'Dog' Chapman," the network said. "We take this matter very seriously. Pending an investigation, we have suspended production on the series. When the inquiry is concluded, we will take appropriate action."

For his part, Chapman issued an apology late Wednesday.

"My sincerest, heartfelt apologies go out to every person I have offended for my regrettable use of very inappropriate language," he said. "I am deeply disappointed in myself for speaking out of anger to my son and using such a hateful term in a private phone conversation. It was completely taken out of context. I was disappointed in his choice of a friend, not due to her race, but her character. However, I should have never used that term."

He added that he has the "utmost respect" for black people.

"(They) have already suffered so much due to racial discrimination and acts of hatred," he said. "I did not mean to add yet another slap in the face to an entire race of people who have brought so many gifts to this world."

Chapman also said that he's going to try to "repair the damage I have caused." He is meeting with his spiritual adviser, Rev. Tim Story, and is hoping to meet with black leaders "so they can see who I really am and teach me the right thing to do to make things right, again."

It's unclear who recorded the conversations or how the Enquirer obtain the tapes.

"Dog," in its fifth season, follows the Hawaii-based Chapman, his wife, Beth, and his crew as they track down bail jumpers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.