DUCK DYNASTY: Bigotry Or Free Speech?

Posted on: 8:54 pm, December 19, 2013, by

Phil Robertson

(CNN) — Is this man simply expressing his beliefs or spewing bigotry?

Either way, Phil Robertson, the patriarch in A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” won’t be duck calling on air anytime soon. The network suspended him after he made controversial remarks about gays and blacks in a magazine interview.

Robertson told the interviewer that he never saw “the mistreatment of any black person” during his 67 years living in the south.

In the January issue of GQ, Robertson says homosexuality is a sin and puts it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” he’s quoted as saying.

When asked what he thought was sinful, Robertson replied: “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.”

But homosexuals aren’t alone, Robertson said. “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.”

A&E said it was troubled by Robertson’s statements.

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” the network said in a statement Wednesday. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

In addition to his comments about homosexuality, Robertson also spoke about race and growing up in Louisiana before the civil rights era.

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” he told GQ. “Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!

“Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues,” GQ quoted Robertson as saying.

Outrage and support

The NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign wrote a joint letter to the president of A&E expressing “outrage and deep concern about the recent racist, homophobic, and ill-informed remarks made by Phil Robertson.”

“Mr. Robertson claims that, from what he saw, African Americans were happier under Jim Crow. What he didn’t see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street,” the letter states.

“And his offensive claims about gay people fly in the face of science. In fact, it’s important to note that every single leading medical organization in the country has said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBT — it’s not a choice, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous.”

But by early Thursday morning, more than 19,000 people had signed a change.org petition calling for A&E to bring Robertson back.

“Homosexuals have their convictions and Christians respect them,” the organizer of the petition wrote. “There is a difference between respecting someone rights to exercise free will and imposing on others what we believe. Phil has done nothing more than state what he believes in. Just because homosexuals do not agree, does not mean Mr. Robertson needs to be suspended.”

Similarly, the Facebook page “Bring Back Phil Robertson” had more than 180,000 “likes” by Thursday night.

‘Duck Dynasty’ debate: Free speech or bigotry?

“I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me,” he said. “We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity.”

“Duck Dynasty” follows a Louisiana bayou family that has “made a fortune on duck calls,” as A&E puts it.

Robertson founded the Duck Commander company, “which sold a line of custom-made duck-hunting calls that quickly became popular among avid hunters for their uncanny accuracy in replicating the sound of a real duck,” the GQ article states. Videos of his family’s duck hunts led to a show on the Outdoor Channel and eventually A&E, the article says.

Season 5 of is set to premiere on January 15. According to A&E, its fourth season premiere in August drew nearly 12 million viewers to become the No. 1 nonfiction series telecast in cable history.

11 comments

  • There’s nothing wrong w/being gay did we suddenly discover a whole new sub species right there among us?You have a choice gay or straight drunk or sober cigarettes or no cigarettes you have a choice.Now if your weak I guess you can be gay or smoke or be a drunk.Go whine some place else you make my head hurt.

    • Alicia Adams says:

      Lol, they make your head hurt and you type like this…

    • Brad Shue says:

      Gary, he wasn’t whining. He was stating an opinion in a forum that was not A&E. I don’t think anything he said was out of line. He was honest and bases his beliefs on biblical teachings. If you disagree, so be it. That is your right too. Agree to disagree. Keep on packing the fudge and look for specials on the baby wipes.

  • Alicia Adams says:

    ‘Duck Dynasty’ debate: Free speech or bigotry?

    Why can’t it be both?
    I absolutely support his right to say whatever he wants, but I sure as heck won’t be watching someone like that on TV, and I guess A&E recognizes that plenty of other people won’t either.

    Besides that, if I had a TV station, I know that I wouldn’t air stuff I thought was hateful or hurtful. I don’t know why that’s so difficult for other people to grasp.

  • Josh says:

    Garbage reporting. Get the full story. He clearly said he loves everyone!!!! Everyone isn’t some incredibly difficult word to grasp. Wow people. Just wow….

  • Brad Shue says:

    Isn’t revisionist history wonderful. My Father worked side by side with black people in the cotton and weaving mills of NC sliding under running looms through spittle from the weavers. There was no black or white. You all looked the same at the end of the day and you had money to buy food. I don’t think anyone in the NAACP has ever worked a hard day in their life! They just blow smoke and play the race card when they can.

  • Coffee Pot says:

    If I were them, I’d tell A&E to hit the trail. Make more money from another network. Is this what the NAACP etc, and the LBGT idiots want from people? Honesty or Lie about what they feel? I see no bigotry in this at all. Pull your big boy panties up and cry about it to yourselves. This is ridiculous, it wasn’t mean spirited at all. We are turning into a nation of crybaby’s and whiners… Is this the America we all want now?
    You should be ashamed if this kind of stuff is all that upsets you.

  • Coffee Pot says:

    If all you have to be proud of, is being gay or lesbian, you have some seriious issues going on.
    It’s a stretch to find anything wrong here, your just going out of your way to make something out of nothing. Grow up already. Quit acting like a bunch of children.
    As for the black comments, a real black man would probably agree. They don’t have time to make that comment something it isn’t.
    It gets real tiring, when someone has nothing to do but pounce and whine about something somebody says.

  • Don says:

    the media goes out to find people who fit their stereotype of rural redencks in a Lousiana bayou to exploit for entertainment, for a modern ‘Beverly Hillbilly’ reality show

    and then they’re shocked to find that THEY have a few sterotypes of their own. Did they really think they were going to find ‘authentic rednecks’ who were 100 percent politically correct?

    The stupidity of the media is the real shocker here, as dumb as you know them to be, they just get dumber

  • steve wilson says:

    only minorities have free speech…….

Comments are closed.