Arkansas book event interrupted by drag queens in 'disturbing' outfits as Kirk Cameron and guests speak
The publisher shared photos taken by staff on the scene.
Los Angeles-based Cameron, an outspoken Christian who has been traveling across the country to public libraries to share messages of faith, family and country at children's book readings and the singing of patriotic songs, told Fox News Digital in exclusive comments on Saturday morning that he found the disruptions disturbing.
"The small group of protesters, which included some grown men wearing silly makeup, dressed in skirts and heels, pretending to be women, listened to the reading of a kids’ book about God’s view of gender called, ‘Elephants Are Not Birds,'" he told Fox News Digital in an email sent on Saturday.
"At the close of this sweet and funny story of a singing elephant named Kevin who was tricked by a vulture named ‘Culture’ into thinking he might be a bird, the reader then asked the 300 children, ‘Do you think elephants can be birds, even if they strap on silly wings and a beak?'"
Added Cameron, "In unison, and with great laughter, all 300 children confessed with gusto, No!'"
Cameron also said, "I felt sad for the men in skirts. As it is written, ‘You have taught the little children to praise you perfectly. May their example shame and silence your enemies’" (Psalm 8:2).
Brave Books, which helped organize the event, told Fox News Digital that some 500 "enthusiastic" parents, grandparents and children were in attendance overall for the event.
Brave Books said there were "protesters present" both inside and outside the library.
Fox News Digital reached out to the Fayetteville Public Library for comment.
The so-called "hateful message" that the protesters took issue with was apparently a reference to the content of Cameron’s own children's book, "As You Grow."
This was the sixth stop for Cameron and Brave Books in what they're calling their "Freedom Island Tour," so named for the series of illustrated children's books published by Brave Books, a conservative publisher.
Cameron's own book, "As You Grow," is about an acorn that grows and blossoms into a huge tree.
The publisher said its staff were "met with opposition from protesters who joined the story hour inside the library."
It said that "some men dressed as women were wearing colorful outfits. Some had signs claiming we were spreading a hateful message."
The so-called "hateful message" that the protesters took issue with was apparently a reference to the content of Cameron’s children's book, "As You Grow," which teaches kids about the fruits of the spirit, including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control.
The publisher told Fox News Digital in a statement, "It was such a joy seeing families and their kids enjoying such a great time with Kirk Cameron and his story hour."
It went on, "Unfortunately, the little children in attendance were forced to see men dressed as women, men wearing bright rainbow colors and individuals with black and white paint covering their bodies."
It went on, "Many of these individuals were holding signs that were blocking the view of the kids and parents. It was a shame they decided to come out and disturb such a beautiful scene at the Fayetteville Public Library."
"What we did not expect was for a group of drag queens and activists to attend and walk up and down the event — giving the children in attendance the creeps."
Zac Bell, Brave Books' chief of staff, who was present at the event, told Fox News Digital, "In coming to Fayetteville, Arkansas, we expected to get a ton of supportive Christian and conservative families to show up. What we did not expect was for a group of drag queens and activists to attend and walk up and down the event — giving the children in attendance the creeps."
He went on, "Their dress was a weird sort of black gown clothing and they wore demonic-appearing face painting."
Trent Talbot, the Texas-based CEO and founder of Brave Books, told Fox News Digital on Saturday, "We’ve been saying that the left is preying on our children, and they sheepishly try to gaslight us — calling us conspiracy theorists."
He added, "On Friday in Fayetteville, a group of drag queens dressed in demonic outfits showed up to a children’s book reading filled with conservative and Christian parents and their children."
"The left’s predatory behavior is just another conspiracy theory exposed as a fact."
He also said, "All these drag queens wanted was to force disturbing views on these innocent kids. The left’s predatory behavior is just another conspiracy theory exposed as a fact."
Cameron, together with Brave Books, also recently appeared in Hendersonville, Tennessee, for a story time event for kids.
As a result of "unkind pushback" toward Cameron and his team connected to the program they held, a library employee wound up being fired.
Cameron plans to continue traveling to public libraries all across the country.
Prior to that, Cameron has appeared in other cities and towns that include Indianapolis, Indiana, and Scarsdale, New York.
Earlier, as many as 50 libraries had denied or ignored Cameron's requests to book space in their facilities, with some claiming the messaging did not "align" with their programming. Since then, said Cameron and his publisher, many other libraries have welcomed them and invited them to speak.
Cameron plans to continue visiting and traveling to public libraries across the country. Stops still to come include Denver, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and New York City.