We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.
As the fallout from Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuality continues to rain down, some say its time to put a fork in “Duck Dynasty,” while others think the hit show has a few quacks left in it…
A source close to the show tells FOX411 that even if Robertson apologized, at this point, A&E is done with him…
While Robertson did not apologize for his comments, he did explain them in a statement: “I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
The swift decision-making by the A&E brass represents a new sense of urgency from nets to quiet the condemnation firestorm that spreads across the oil-drenched fields of Twitter, Facebook and blogs. “Duck Dynasty” draws in some of the most lucrative auds on TV — adults 18-34 and 18-49 — demos that are increasingly liberal-minded when it comes to matters of sexuality. “Real World” creator Jon Murray even noted recently that portraying a gay relationship on television no longer elicits the kind of shock from young viewers that it did in the ’90s — these things are now commonplace with TV viewers at a time when surveys show a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.
With Phil Robertson’s remarks comparing homosexuality to bestiality, A&E likely felt it had little choice but to act swiftly, given the company’s stated corporate values, or risk letting A+E nets become a pariah in Hollywood and potentially damage relationships with advertisers.
In other words: when it comes to entertainment, low tolerance is turning into no tolerance.
The guys from “Duck Dynasty” are NOT in danger of losing their biggest sponsor, Under Armour — ’cause while the company tells TMZ its not down with Phil Roberston’s homophobic comments, its not willing to kill the business relationship … yet.
UA — which sponsors the Duck Commander business, founded by Phil — just issued a statement to TMZ … saying, “We have no plans to change our current relationship.
The company adds, “We are obviously aware of the situation. And his comments are not indicative of Under Armour’s views.”
“You want to be on television and get all the things that come with it? Well, when you say stupid stuff, whether it’s on television or not, and you get criticized, you have to — and when it’s really bad, you have to suffer the consequences,” Capehart began.
“Phil Robertson’s grandson, Willie [Robertson’s] son, is adopted and he’s bi-racial,” he continued. “That comes towards the end of the piece after you’ve read everything that he has said about gay people, about women, about African-Americans. You know, blacks are happy in the pre-civil rights era.”
“Then you read he has a bi-racial grandchild. What environment is that child living in?” Capehart worried. “What will that child to unlearn when he gets older?”
The reason that so many Americans love Duck Dynasty is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: a family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith.
If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him–but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.
And, as PC enforcers often forget, tolerance is a two-way street.
[I]t was Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones who got me interested.
“If a homosexual expresses his opinion, he is praised. When Muslims demand that we appease them in their religious traditions, our country bends over backwards to do that. When people are in our country illegally, they demand benefits that they should not have and do not deserve, again we appease them. And when a United States citizen exercises his first amendment rights, he is immediately condemned by the political system and the news media, with the goal of silencing him, thus stopping him from exercising his first amendment rights.”
Apart from the usual fallacy about “the First Amendment” protecting anyone from any consequences for what they say, ever, isn’t that basically right? The Duck Dynasty cast was a little island in the great culture war ocean, a collection of white Southerners whom liberals could love. They were even invited to the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner! They didn’t sign up for this on the condition that they moderate their beliefs. But they got punished anyway, and presto, yet another semi-enjoyable aspect of life becomes tinder for culture warfare and fundraising. First chicken sandwiches, then duck calls—what next?
The Duck Dynasty brand is down-home social conservatism and Bible worship. Many people tune in for the stars’ humor and fearlessness; but many Americans appreciate their value system (however many of us may disagree with it).
A&E knew what they were getting when they put Robertson and his clan on the air, and they shouldn’t act surprised when the patriarch freely expresses his opinion on sensitive matters like homosexuality. No one tunes into Duck Dynasty expecting “enlightened” “east-coast” thought on matters of sexuality; and we shouldn’t be so outraged when Robertson says exactly what you’d expect him to say as to silence him.
Speaking out and ridiculing Robertson’s views on homosexuality is a much more effective way of changing the culture than forcing him to shut up and sit in the corner.
When you consider the more effete, cosmopolitan America that “Pajama Boy” represents, you’ll get a sense for why the Duck Dynasty folks are out of touch with today’s acceptable norms. There is a huge schism between red state America and blue state America, and these two stories seem to symbolize the yawning chasm…
It has as much to do with class and geography and culture and attitude as it does with religion.
Politics and reality TV are increasingly causing these two worlds to clash. Until we find a way to domesticate these guys with the gun racks in their pickup trucks, I suspect this will be a recurring story.
There really are two Americas.
All we’re seeing here is the effect of cultural isolation. The only thing I find objectionable about it – and it is objectionable – is the reduction of gay people and our relationships to sex acts. Mr Robertson would not be happy – indeed, rightly be extremely offended – if I reduced his entire family life and marriage to sex with a vagina.
But look: I come back to what I said at the beginning. Robertson is a character in a reality show. He’s not a spokesman for A&E any more than some soul-sucking social x-ray from the Real Housewives series is a spokeswoman for Bravo. Is he being fired for being out of character? Nah. He’s being fired for staying in character – a character A&E have nurtured and promoted and benefited from. Turning around and demanding a Duck Dynasty star suddenly become the equivalent of a Rachel Maddow guest is preposterous and unfair.
What Phil Robertson has given A&E is a dose of redneck reality. Why on earth would they fire him for giving some more?
If you lived in the South and went to pieces every time you heard a Southerner of that generation say something that offends contemporary sensitivities, you’d never get out of bed. I’d wager that it’s true in most parts of this country — and of all kinds of people. This past summer I spoke to a young black woman in my own town about local politics. I told her how shocked I was to go to meetings of the parish council, and to hear the most paranoid racist things coming out of the mouths of older black people. She told me that she had grown up hearing that sort of thing — just like I did. I was taken aback by what I heard in those meetings, but when I thought about it, how could I expect black men and women who had had their racial opinions formed by what they had been taught, and what they had seen, during the Jim Crow era to think differently? It’s right to hope that they see the change, and resist judging all white people today by the standards of 40 years ago and more, but how realistic is that? How realistic is it to expect that of country people, black and white, who live in more of a monoculture than many others do?
It must be said that one of the most irritating aspects of the New York media environment is how narrow and monocultural it is, while flattering itself that it is cosmopolitan, diverse, and tolerant. You think Phil Robertson is bigoted? I have been around and worked with liberals in Washington and New York and elsewhere whose opinions were so obnoxious and dismissive of those not like themselves that they make the Duck Commander sound like Dick Cavett.
Yesterday evening, when I defended Robertson, Twitter users were quick to point out that A&E has to react to its own corporate interests — and to those of its advertisers and customers. This, of course, is true. But pointing this out doesn’t make the problem go away, it just transfers the criticism from A&E to the culture at large. If A&E is “understandably” reacting to outside pressure, then that means they’re reacting to a cultural trend. And that trend needs criticizing — and hard. Are viewers really so prissy that they won’t tolerate a man who dissents from the mainstream culture? Duck Dynasty’s ratings certainly don’t suggest so. Are people who find his views abhorrent incapable of turning off their televisions?
Was A&E really unaware that he believed these things? Is the aim here to normalize all television to prevailing norms, allowing only those views that society’s tailwinds have approved to prevail and shedding all other views? I hope not. What sort of culture will we have if people can’t be different without fear of suspension? What sort of society will we produce if religious people can’t say what they believe? Evidently, there are swaths of the American population — and people of all other nationalities, too — who agree with Robertson. Are we going to liquidate them from the public square?
I can’t imagine living in a world where everyone agreed with me. How tedious. But that is apparently what progressives demand.
The Left started the culture war, won it resoundingly, and now they’re roaming the country shooting the wounded survivors. Instead of allowing dissent, they conduct blasphemy trials demanding public recantations and penance. They accuse conservatives of being Puritans, but they’re the ones with the torches and buckled hats.
I don’t agree with everything said by Phil Robertson or Penn Jillette or Neil Patrick Harris or Patton Oswalt or anyone else. And I’m fine with that. I still would love to share a meal with any one of them.
So, lefties, give Phil Robertson a break. It’s not like he said Santa was white.
It is a simple and sad fact that America is already not-watching CNN, MSNBC, Jon Stewart, and others, but they still have an impact because Big Entertainment makes billions from bundled cable and can therefore afford to keep them on the air. The left-wing monopoly on our culture is subsidized not by popular acclaim but by bundled cable.
This means that boycotting or not-watching A&E is not going to matter a whole lot to A&E.
If you want to really hurt A&E, you are forced to go to the extreme of canceling the entire cable package that comes with A&E, and that could mean losing channels you do like and want to support. It might even mean cutting the cord entirely and having no cable television. And if you do cancel your cable, be sure to tell them why, because a lot of people are cutting the cord these days.
But things are complicated by the fact that progressive activists and agitators aren’t interested in comity or stasis or accommodation. Instead, they view division and conflict as necessary steps to achieve their progressive goals (which seem to be the dismantling of any traditional value or institution.)…
At some point, this became a zero-sum game. You’re either in the “Duck Dynasty” camp or the “Pajama Boy” camp. Somebody will lose.
No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot be a conscientious objector in the culture war.