Jonathan Rovetto, an employee of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), was fired because he posted a comment on his Facebook wall, which criticized the ministry’s leadership. The Facebook comment drew the ire of founders, Jan and Paul Crouch, resulting in Mr. Rovetto’s dismissal as assistant station engineer.
Mr. Rovetto’s firing has raised legal issues such as, “Do employers have the right to censor what their employees post on Facebook?” Employers are asking their employees for their Facebook passwords and usernames in order to be able to read their posts! Some employers are going the distance and even asking employees to remove certain posts off their Facebook pages which employers deem “derogatory.” Is this an encroachment of the right to free speech? This is a murky area between the right to free speech and private activity versus the rights of employers.
The Facebook post, which resulted in Rovetto’s firing, centers around a legal battle between Jan and Paul Crouch and their granddaughter, Brittany Crouch Koper, regarding the misuse of ministry funds. Mr. Rovetto suspected he’d be fired by posting his thoughts on Facebook, but decided he had a right to air his opinion.
Mr. Rovetto had been following the developing legal case involving the Crouchs online. As he continued to follow the developments of the case, he himself became upset at each revelation. So he decided to post his annoyance on Facebook.
Here is Mr. Rovetto’s post:
“TBN, why should you care? Many people really dislike TBN and don’t watch. Over the years people have been turned off by Jan’s pink hair, screaming preachers during Praise-A-Thon, and the heavy concentration of ‘Prosperity Teachers’ that fill the TBN schedule.”
Although Mr. Rovetto gave the Crouchs credit for building TBN into a successful ministry, he also believes they’ve fallen prey to the erroneous kind of thinking that many successful ministers fall prey to – that of entitlement. They believe that all their hard work entitles them to a life of luxury and excess.
Mr. Rovetto ended his post by asking for people to pray for Brittany Crouch Koper.