OpEd: Duck Dynasty’s Robertson Wasn’t Censured, He was Fired
A & E has suspended one of the stars of their hit series Duck Dynasty after he made some homophobic comments in a recent interview with GQ magazine. Here are some of the quotes that got DD’s Patriarch Phil Robertson fired:
What does repentance entail? Well, in Robertson’s worldview, America was a country founded upon Christian values (Thou shalt not kill, etc.), and he believes that the gradual removal of Christian symbolism from public spaces has diluted those founding principles. (He and Si take turns going on about why the Ten Commandments ought to be displayed outside courthouses.) He sees the popularity of Duck Dynasty as a small corrective to all that we have lost.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Now in its fourth season, Duck Dynasty follows a family of hunters as they, well, exist, hunt, and represent a section of the country that no one is really all that proud of. The same could be said for every reality TV show, I’m not just targeting hillbillies here, but one thing that sets this glossed over prime-time turd apart from the rest is how well it’s done.
DD’s season 4 premier this past August was the most watched reality show in cable TV history, beating the Jersey Shore and Jon & Kate Plus 8. What exactly is the draw, I’m not too sure, but take a look at a clip below and maybe you’ll get it.
Alright, well, we’ve all been educated as to what the modern cable TV viewer prefers. Now fast forward to the GQ interview, and the 24 hours this story has had to enrage everyone on both sides of the issue.
GLADD and The Human Rights Campaign have both released statements:
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” said GLADD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
As for HRC, President Chad Griffin called Robertson’s comments “vile” and said in a statement “As a role model on a show that attracts millions of viewers, Phil Robertson has a responsibility to set a positive example for young Americans – not shame and ridicule them because of who they are.”
But the voice of outrage on the right was sure to throw some weight behind their arguments as well.
Former VP candidate and current pig-in-lipstick Sarah Palin took to Facebook, like any good suburban mom hoping to make impacts, to show her outrage over the treatment of the DD member.
“Free speech is an endangered species,” said the formerly relevant Fox News contributor who knows what an endangered species is because she hunts them herself. ” Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”
The conservative Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, took time out of his busy day, yea know, running a freak’n state, to say Robertson was a victim of the PC crowd and his right to free speech was being torn to shreds by the liberal media:
“I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. ”
Duck Dynasty is filmed in LA, and Jindal has a pretty awful record of supporting LGBTQ issues, so his defense of these idiotic comments shouldn’t be a surprise.
Alright, that’s both sides, now put on your rubber gloves and let’s get to the bottom of the trash pile:
You can’t say whatever you want and expect a private company to keep you as an asset. No one is infallible, no one is untouchable. And at NO POINT does the Constitution say “you can’t be fired for saying offensive things.”
If you’d like to test this theory, go and tell your boss you think his balding head makes him an inferior member of the human race and let me know how that works out for you.
Your employer could tolerate your comments – homophobic, racist, or whatever other subconscious issues you’re having trouble dealing with – but you have no right to walk in to work and say “Hey, yea know what, gay people are immoral and we’d be better off without” and not expect a private employer to do something about it.
Now, it’s actually not illegal to say that, or practice it, especially here in VA. Yes, you can be fired for being LGBTQ from any private work force in the country, and at the state level here in VA. It doesn’t mean you will, but there’s no law protecting us.
Similarly, there’s no law protecting you from saying outrageous things and not getting fired. Deal with it, or take it to the Capital like we do, but personally I think we’ll be allowed to marry before you’ll be allowed to hang us.
Either way, this entire incident shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has grown up in the rural south, and if you’ve kept up-to-date with the fight for LGBTQ rights, you shouldn’t be surprised when someone tries to hide their intolerance behind a bible. There are lots of ignorant people out there, but none of them deserve to be on TV – which would mean the end of reality TV as a whole, but I’m not getting into that right now.
Robertson has since been suspended indefinitely from Duck Dynasty, and something tells me he wont make a come back, nor will this show ride the high-ratings tide for much longer. But this is all my humble opinion, and you couldn’t pay me to watch this garbage in the first place.
Tim is a writer, video game nerd, and music fan. You'll see him at shows, or you wont really see him at all.
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