The star of cable television’s highest rated show in history has been sacked because he dared criticize the homosexual lifestyle


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The end of free speech: The star of cable television’s highest rated show in history has been sacked because he dared criticize the homosexual lifestyle.

It does not matter whether one disagrees with him or not. He has the right to express these opinions, and should not be punished merely because they are not politically correct in today’s society.

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37 comments

  • I disagree that this incident is the ‘end of free speech’. The First Amendment, as are the first ten Amendments in the Bill of Rights, are designed to limit government’s power. They say nothing of limits imposed by contract between private parties. This is a case of taking the coin, and having to abide by the contractual rules. Mr. Robertson appears to understand this.I’d say the real ‘end of free speech’ is the Left’s meltdown whenever someone disagrees with them.

  • “I’d say the real ‘end of free speech’ is the Left’s meltdown whenever someone disagrees with them.”

    Which is really what I am referring to in my post.

  • Gotta wonder if you even read the article Bob. He didn’t “criticize the homosexual lifestyle”, he demonized a whole heck of people who watch his show and other shows on the network. I would have fired the guy too.

  • I was very clear: You don’t have to agree with him. You can disagree with him strongly. The point here is the mob mentality that is working to destroy anyone who dares say something that mob dislikes.

    And yes, I read the article. He was quite precise: To use the Christian expression, he was condemning the sin, not the sinner. He was also expressing basic Christian beliefs, which consider homosexual behavior wrong.

    It doesn’t matter whether I agree with him or not (I do not). If we are going to allow for religious freedom we must allow him the right to express these beliefs openly.

  • D. K. Williams

    I’ve never seen this show and don’t plan to. However, I would be curious to see what A & E would do if the cast went on strike. Would they follow political correctness or the money?

  • Sorry, I don’t care about his “religious freedom”. If spouting off about your religion alienates my customers, you can find another employer.

  • You come at it from an oblique angle, sir.

  • wade

    I have watched this Show only to See what It Is as one of my grandsons adores it. I don’t get his fascination with it. yet there are Far worse things that my rowdy grandson could take interest in. I have No qualms with the antics Displayed

  • Lois Johnson

    Robert – I agree with you.

    Christian bashing has become too commonplace and he was obviously set up by the reporter.

  • David Hollick

    Anyone wishing to express their opinion to A&E can do so at this address: feedbackaetv@aenetworks.com

  • Pzatchok

    I agree that he has the right to express his beliefs and opinions.

    I do not agree with firing him over this.
    Basically someone was looking for a reason to cancel this show and I think they just found it.

    For one the network knew from day one that he was a Christan preacher. So they knew his views.
    He has NEVER censored himself off camera at any of hundreds of speaking engagements he has done since the show was started. He has obviously said this very same stuff before.
    The network has already been caught censoring some of their language. Specifically the words God and Jesus in their closing prayers on the show. Supposedly because it upset Muslims and other non religious people. The family has never made public their opinions on this action.
    The network though asked as never expressed in interest in airing any of his speaking engagements or religious services. Even though asked by many fans.

    As long as this family remained openly religious and scandal free this was inevitable.
    They have been the active target of those who disagree with their viewpoints for a few years now and it looks like those people have finally placed enough pressure on the right person in the network to stop the show.
    Without him the show will eventually be canceled. The family will not put up with it. They will honor their end of any contracts (they do not have to funny,cooperative or interesting on camera any more) and the network will make sure they never let the rights to the show go to another network even if the show is canceled.

    The network just effectively canceled it cash cow. And ostracized its most solid viewers.

    Another network will get the rights to the speaking tours the family does and will air them making a nice profit for a season or so.. And some small Christian network will more than likely give them an hour show slot for a weekly religious service.
    They could even get a show on one of the outdoor networks for hunting or hunting equipment. They might even get Ted Nugent as a guest.

  • Kelly Starks

    Its not about alienating a few customers – they routinely run shows that offend far more folks then there are gays in this country (much less watching Duck Dynasty!) without batting a eye. Even having fundamentalists Christians saying homosexuality is a serious sin in christain (and most religions) books is not that unusual.

    I’m guessing they weer just afraid they’ld get flack from GLAD or the feds or something given how famous the guy is.

    Also – they pretty much have already wraped for the season, and can “forgive” him before filming starts for the next season. ;)

  • Kelly Starks

    >..I do not agree with firing him over this.

    They didn’t fire him. And given there are only a couple more eps to film for the season – I expect they figure it will all be forgotten before filming starts for the next season, by which time his
    “suspension” will almost certainly be lifted.

    So as long as the family doesn’t retaliate against A&E, they lose nothing and get some slack from gay groups.

  • Publius 2

    This is a complex issue. Phil Robertson, the show’s star, in an interview, has the right to express his opinions. But if the network, in its contract, has the right to fire or suspend its employee or contractor for cause, then they are free to take action as well. My guess is there are contractual clauses protecting the network, which behaved as most networks do, at least in cases where politically incorrect views have been expressed. But this country has quickly shifted from being biased against homosexuals to being fearful of the wrath of homosexuals. And Eugene McCarthy once correctly observed that the two primary motivations for all corporations are fear and greed. If the “Duck Dynasty” family ever asked my advice, I would suggest they 1) wait out their contract and jump to another network, or 2) buy out their contract and jump to another network. Either action would attract A&E’s immediate attention, because 14 million viewers would be at stake. For that sized audience, even MSNBC would be interested.

  • You continue to miss my point. You also prove it with the statement that you “don’t care about his religious freedom.”

    My point isn’t that A&E fired him. They have that right. My point is that they are responding in terror to the lynch mob that is gathering at their door. It is the lynch mob that I find disturbing and destructive.

  • In this case, you are probably right, I was not as clear as I should have been. See my comments to Trent, where I think I make myself clearer.

  • Cotour

    I read Mr. Robertsons comments and heartily laughed at his plain spoken, and maybe one dimensional opinions on the subject.

    If I had to guess I would expect that the blowup will be solved by the next season and if it is not I would assume they would probably all bag the whole thing rather than bend to the pressures and abandon their family member and move on from that point. Good for them if they do, I think Americans would admire such action despite his course comments. Could Mr. Robertson have chosen to have been more delicate or politically correct? Certainly, and if you read his following comments he is attempting to dial it back a bit explaining his journey through the “freedom” of the 60’s and 70’s and how he found his balance by finding Jesus. Did he have the right to say what he said? Certainly, but he has learned a lesson about speaking so freely and how it may come with consequences that effect others.

    Politically and culturally, the left is focused on “normalizing” homosexuality and while we all know people who are homosexual and whom we love and respect in their individual choices based on their individual natural orientation it can not ever be seen as “normal” as the left would like. Homosexuality is not what the majority of human beings participate in so can not be defined as “normal”. Learning to respect individuals choices in their lives, as long as they do not effect others choices is what needs to be focused on. This whole thing goes off the rails when the two things, normal and respect are confused.

    Does Mr. Robertson have the right to say what he said? Absolutely, but there are always consequences, some seen and some unforeseen.

  • Pzatchok

    If he is not on film he is fired.

    I don’t agree with them doing anything to or about him. What he said he said off air. Not on their time or equipment.

    In fact because they knew who they hired and what he was any morals clause in the contract actually is on his side. His opinion is his morals. They hired him knowing his morals and all he did was express them honestly.
    He can’t be fired for expressing his own morals just because they go against theirs.
    Why its like hiring a preacher and then firing him for being a preacher.

    They may have just cost themselves their contract with the Robertsons.

  • Pzatchok

    “So as long as the family doesn’t retaliate against A&E, they lose nothing and get some slack from gay groups”

    The family will NEVER get ANY slack from gay groups. They are religious and I am sorry to say for the gay groups but their religion does not agree with the gay lifestyle. So the family will never agree with the gays and thus never get any slack.

    Gay groups do not want to give them any slack anyways. They want them to bend to their will and accept the gay lifestyle as normal or they want them to go away and hide. Never to be seen or heard from again.

  • BSJ

    “Does Mr. Robertson have the right to say what he said? Absolutely, but there are always consequences, some seen and some unforeseen.”

    Yep, as the Dixie Chicks learned when they spoke out against Bush. They whined about their free speech rights being denied too. But that didn’t happen at all.

    No one tried to stop them from saying anything. But, the right wing mob rose up and tried to put them out of business…

  • Pzatchok

    Just read the GQ interview that started this whole thing.

    He was talking about sin in general and included heterosexual sinners in his statement that they will not reach the kingdom of heaven.

    The fact that he asked why a man would desire an anus over a vagina is what set off the homosexuals.
    And the resulting letters from the gay community and the attack article from Entertainment weekly is what scared A&E.
    A&E started this show knowing they were a religious family and with the full understanding that their religion would be included on the show. In fact the closing prayer is part of the families contract.

  • Pzatchok

    I find it funny that eventhough the vast majority of homosexuals admit to not believing in God and not agreeing with the Christan faith, they really do get upset when they are told they will not be going to a Christan Heaven.
    A place they insist is fictional and does not exist.

  • Cotour

    This is how the sensitive left wants to redefine the American male and “normalize” homosexuality.

    http://youtu.be/RaP4opWlgsI

    Its part of the feminist war on maleness and testosterone and after all isn’t that where all problems in the world begin and end? And again, I am not being disrespectful of anyone that happens to be gay, I respect their being different and wish them well in their lives and all that they can achieve in both their private and professional lives. That’s how I live my life, but their wish to capitol “C” culturally “normalize” what is not normal will never fly. That’s part of the lefts insistence on their kind of reality as being reality, Obamacare being their biggest effort yet.

  • Kelly Starks

    >If he is not on film he is fired.

    Off for the last 2 eps of a season, with intent to have him back on full time afterwards. Doesn’t sound like firing to me.

    > I don’t agree with them doing anything to or about him. What he said he said off air. Not on their time or equipment.

    Its like being a actor. Anything that effects the audiences opinion of you is critical to your value – or the value of what you did in the past. Same way Milley Cyrus sudden dive into raunchy seriously impacted the commercial value of Hanna Montana products and contracts. A lot of folks who paid for the rights to use the Hanna Montana image etc, were suing for refunds; and stockholders were pushing Disney management to sue Cyrus, and were upset they no longer had moral and behavior clauses (like in the old days) to control folks like her, Lohan, etc.

    > In fact because they knew who they hired and what he was any morals clause in the
    > contract actually is on his side. His opinion is his morals. ..

    Thats not how a morals clause works; but you have a point that this is so in character for who he is and is expected to be, his acting in charter doesn’t “hurt the brand”. So they really haven’t much room to complain unless they specifically said that for the duration don’t say X/Y/Z … which doesn’t seem like something he would have signed?

    >..
    > They may have just cost themselves their contract with the Robertsons.

    Could well be. At the least they could easily walk and start a new show on a different network but a different name.

  • Kelly Starks

    >..The family will NEVER get ANY slack from gay groups…

    Of course, I mean A&E will get some slack.

  • Kelly Starks

    > Gay groups do not want to give them any slack anyways. They want them to bend
    > to their will and accept the gay lifestyle as normal or they want them to go away and hide.

    Very true. Gays having moving past wanting tolerance of their lifestyle from others (which is a reasonable expectation for anyone in the US), to wanting universal acceptance and approval as a, if not THE norm.. But that later is a big jump that is not a reasonable expectation or a legal right. Though they get enough support from liberal groups and some judges etc, so they think – even expect – they will win in arguments like this.

    I mean when school boards in some major cities propose or mandate grade school kids be tough from books suggesting they should all explore their home sexual feelings, with illustrations of kids cheerfully engaging.. they (if they ignore the resulting public outcry) think they are winning this argument.

  • Kelly Starks

    one thing to not want to go somewhere – another to be told your not good enough to be excepted in.
    ;)

  • Pzatchok

    They kept preforming.

    Their original country fans just quit going.
    No one fired them or kept them off the radio.

    The Dixie Chicks found out how not to bite the hand that feeds you.
    Now they are trying to make a living on a way smaller plate of fans and with far smaller bites coming in.

    But they do still have a HUGE fan base in the LBGT community.

  • Cotour

    The left does not care about rights, they care about what they see as “right” and their goal is to force anyone who does not agree with their interpretation of what is “right” or “normal” to adhere to their interpretation. And they are willing to burn down your house to help enlighten you.

    Respect is the road to understanding and peaceful coexistence, that is an alien concept to many of them because they are based more in subjective emotion and not objective logic or something in between.

  • BSJ

    Robertson will continue performing as well. Likewise, his fan base will change, so it’ll all work out.

    He’ll still be a wealthy man with many options with or without being on TV…

    I haven’t seen anyone burning duck calls, like happened with Dixie Chick CD’s. So, I find all these cries about the evils of leftist intolerance completely laughable!

  • JWing

    Nothing Phil Robertson said was hateful or not accepted by the majority of cultures throughout history including the majority of Americans today which is simply (exactly what Robertson stated)….men are biologically attracted to the vagina not the anus. It’s a natural fact. How is this controversial? As a matter of fact, I proudly resemble the remark myself, being happily married to the same woman for 23 years and having three children all in accord with nature. It’s very organic and in harmony with Gaia and natural law, so what ‘s the problem?

    If the Left can champion the “Vagina Monologues” without any retribution, why the double standard here? Phil Robertson is just expressing the male version of the Vagina Monologues. What’s good for the goose……

    Will the anatomically correct word “vagina” now become the new “N-word” that only women can say?…..Ridiculous.

    GLAD complained that Phi Robertson’s comments were “vile” but that’s only an opinion. He’s biologically correct; males of all species are attracted to vaginas and NOT the other.

  • JWing

    This isn’t an attack on the First Amendment, it’s an all out attack on what is means to be a real, red-blooded, American MAN, beard and all.

    Phil Robertson is simply expressing the male version of the Vagina Monologues and the Left and GLAD doesn’t like that.

  • Edward

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1868 – after 1939) (often misattributed to Francois-Marie Voltaire)

    A&E seems to be unwilling to fight for its cast members’ rights at all, much less “to the death.” Funny, coming from a company whose sole reason for existence is the expression of people’s views, opinions, and stories (sometimes not the same thing).

    The freedom to speak one’s mind, worship as one wishes, complain to or about the government, or to report or comment on daily life is fundamental to American life, as evidenced by its prominent placement in the Constitution. Fortunately, A&E is free to discipline its own star as it chooses, but that only exposes its unwillingness to support his rights. This is an attitude that seems prevalent in today’s America. Didn’t *anybody* at A&E (or in America, for that matter) pay attention in their civics classes in grade school?

  • Edward

    His fan base probably won’t change nearly as much as the Dixie Chicks’. His fans apparently knew who he was and what he believed and likely will not change their minds about him. The Dixie Chicks sounded un-American at a time when patriotism was flying high.

    Leftist intolerance is not at all laughable. As a student at UC Berkeley, I saw enormous peer pressure applied by leftists who declared that *they* were the tolerant ones – they often said that they were only intolerant of intolerance. Strangely (or not), the people who they declared were intolerant turned out to be everyone that they didn’t agree with. How intolerant of differing opinion is that? After all, only those on the left know what is “fair” for everyone, not those mean, hateful, vitriolic righties.

    Gene Kirkpatrick was shouted down during a speech on campus – by these same leftists. The irony being that the students were proud that Berkeley was the home of the Free Speech Movement.

    Peer pressure was applied within the leftist group to keep up with the politically correct opinions and speech of the day, apparently a difficult task. I heard a couple of them complain that there should be a PC Magazine (not the computer magazine) to help them know what was politically correct that month.

    Friendships broke up when one failed or refused to be PC. That was a major part of the threat: shunning and ostracization of non-conformists, separate them from their friends and support groups. Another tactic was to call someone fascist or – whenever remotely possible – racist. Homophobe is a more recent term added to their arsenal. No one wants to be called these things, so the students who they disagreed with shut up and no other student dared defend them.

    It was through the non-laughable “shut-up” tactics like these that the left has successfully separated right-leaning people from each other – they are afraid to speak their minds. (Mr. Robertson’s fan base is likely comprised of such right-leaning people.) This one-sided dialogue not only made leftist anti-American “fundamental transformation” of America opinion seem popular but has made socialism seem so normal that few people recognize it when coerced to buy insurance whether or not they want it. No other government that I know of has ever dared tell its people what they *must* purchase (not even the communists), but now in America such tyranny is not only accepted, it was sold as a natural extension of “fair.” Yet most people don’t want to fight this tyranny for fear of having their good reputations destroyed by the tyrannical left. Instead, they would rather “compromise” farther and farther into tyranny.

    Good for Mr. Robertson. Badly done A&E.

  • Cotour

    A&E fears the gay movement, they are organized, they are smart, they are driven and they want to be accepted and considered “normal” in the culture as a whole. Also consider that they are probably run by very sympathetic management. A&E is just reacting to what a major business reacts to in todays world. They are not looking to buck the tide.

  • Kelly Starks

    Interesting updates.
    As expected, the family is saying (more diplomatically then Phil did) they won’t do the show without him. Also Glenn Beck offered to pick up their show on his cable/internet network, with complete freedom to express any point of view they like. My first reaction was Duck dynasty seems a little out of place on a 24hour news network – but then it looked out of place on a “Arts&Entertainment” network, and it certainly could get Becks “Blaze” network picked up by more cable networks. It would certainly make A&E pay.

    ;)

  • Kelly Starks

    More they support the Gay movement. I mean their are bigger, better organized movements they wouldn’t bat a eye to insult. Hell the NRA has more dues paying members then the total gay population of the nation and a well honed political advocacy team. Christians?..few of them around. etc. Gays are just a movement that A&E execs personally support and whose friends support.

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