Woke up this morning to my news feed all aflutter about Phil Robertson’s dismissal from A&E’s hit show “Duck Dynasty”. If you don’t know about this show, there’s really no point in educating you. Google Duck Dynasty. We’ll wait.
Okay, back now? Good. So Phil Robertson openly talked about sin in an interview in GQ (yeah, how did you know this wasn’t going to go terribly, terribly wrong). He spoke out against sinful behavior, paraphrased the bible, and got the LGBT up in a tizzy over said comments.
Thus, A&E deemed it appropriate given the backlash to suspend daddy Robertson from their popular show about bible thumping rednecks who make duck calls for a living. Of course, that decision has come with its own backlash (see image below).
So people are starting Facebook pages like “Bring Back Phil” and pages like “Impeach Nancy Pelosi” are crying out for his return.
Here’s the thing: A&E did nothing wrong. In fact, they did exactly what any company would do: they responded to a backlash. And
Phil did exactly what he’s supposed to do: stand by his principles. The show (if you haven’t seen it) is representative of their values of faith, family, etc. Phil was just being his genuine self, and probably knew full-well that his words were going to get a response from the media. Here’s the thing: he doesn’t care. He’s compelled to tell the truth how he sees it, regardless of the secular consequences. And A&E is doing the same, regardless of the consequences to Duck Dynasty viewer ratings. If the show tanks, A&E will come up with a new IP, but their reputation with mostly secular groups will remain intact.
Here’s the other thing: people shouting for his return aren’t wrong either. They are doing exactly what the LGBT community did to get Phil suspended in the first place: voicing their opinion and hoping to get their way.
We are founded on freedom of speech. Phil practiced his, and a third party company responded with suspension. The government didn’t crack down on Phil Robertson, pockets of society did. Freedom of Speech worked, Phil was allowed to voice his opinion, and he can continue to do so… just not on Duck Dynasty (which is owned by A&E).
Now, the public outcry for Phil’s return may be successful, or it may not be. But the worst thing that could happen now is that Phil issue an apology, which I don’t think he will. If he goes back on what he said, he’ll not only not really earn the respect of the LGBT community, but he will also lose the respect of the people standing behind him. I doubt Phil is hurting for money, and I don’t think the show needs him to continue. He said his peace, and he can be proud that he exercised his constitutional rights.
Now, let’s get back to hunting ducks in the swamp already.