Phew. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose Facebook and Twitter feeds have been FULL of crap about Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson this week. I wanted to scream. In case you’ve been living under a rock and/or away from social media, Phil Robertson said in a GQ article that homosexuality was a sin and in a way compared it to bestiality. A&E then suspended him from the show and the family was upset, blah blah blah.
I’ve never even seen a full episode of the show, but I know the family is very religious and conservative, so is anyone surprised the 70-year-old redneck grandfather was against gay marriage? Is this really the opinion that needs to be taken seriously on the subject? In no way do I agree with his comments, but WHO CARES what he has to say in the realm of gay rights? Not me.
I live in Oklahoma, right smack dab in the middle of the Bible belt, so I’m curious as to what Facebook news feeds looked like throughout the country, but mine was full of people who were outraged because A&E suspended Robertson because he was simply exercising his right to free speech. Sigh. No one was arresting him, mistreating him or throwing him in prison because of his comments. He had a right to make the comments; A&E had a right to suspend him because they didn’t agree. The end. No constitutional rights were infringed.
News broke recently that – SHOCKER – A&E has decided to resume the show with the entire family. The same people who were furious about Robertson’s right to free speech being violated are now screaming “I told you so” on Facebook. I have a communications degree so I know I have a different view of this but…people should realize that A&E probably had this planned all along (to a certain degree). The network had to please both sides in some way or another, and I think it was as successful as it could’ve been. By publicly disagreeing with Robertson’s comments and suspending him from the show, the more liberal, pro-equality folks were pleased. Then Robertson is brought back onto the show, so all those in support of his comments rejoiced that his right to free speech was regained and the beloved reality show is back in action. A&E looks socially responsible but doesn’t lose tons of money from canceling one of its most successful shows. Boom. Win win.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Are you a fan of the show? Do you think A&E made the right decision…both times?