I honestly do not know how to feel about the news that Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty has been suspended by A + E. Yes, as a queer and just a generally decent human being I find his remarks disgusting. Also, yes, when he compares homosexuality to fucking animals, he is comparing me to a bestiophile, so quibbling over his remarks as just saying they are both sins is disingenuous, or at least extremely short-sighted. He is a bigot and a zealot and I really do not have much use for him.
We also find ourselves, once again, in the ridiculous position of having to explain the difference between someone’s first amendment rights being violated and the bizarre assertion that everyone has a right to be heard. In particular I find it strange that people cannot see that a person employed to be in the public eye has an obligation to their employer not to embarrass them and tarnish their brand. If people really do believe in free markets and all that, then they should support the fact that A + E had the right to take action against an employee, contract or otherwise, who was acting in a way that could hurt their bottom line.
That said I have to say, what did the network think they were getting into? They were marketing a show designed to appeal to those who wanted to have fun at the expense of people they viewed as mouth breathing rednecks. The whole point of the program is to point at the absurdity of their backward behavior and when one of them comes out and says something ridiculous we get angry? Everyone watching that show, everyone who put that show on the air, and every company advertising in their time slot knew exactly what they were getting. How could no one see this coming?
I think it is worth noting that Robertson has only been suspended, not sacked. I am a bit cynical, I know, but I suspect that this outrage has been manufactured to boost publicity. I could be wrong. Regardless I find myself amused. Amused by a society that sets people up to be their worst and is amazed when they live up to those expectations. Amused by a culture of self-righteous voyeurs on both sides of this particular brouhaha, and the vacuous nature of their outrage. Phil Robertson is just performing his function providing us with our bread and circuses and rather than be angry with the directors of this show (and I hope you know I don’t mean Duck Dynasty) we beat our chests and wail at him. I have no particular sympathy for this man, but then I also have little for the people who willingly get pulled into the charade that is the current state of “entertainment.”
- Jindal hits ‘Duck Dynasty’ backlash (politico.com)
- Duck Dynasty Shocker: Phil Robertson Upsetting Gays and Mainstream Media–We’re NOT Going To Take It, Anymore! (Video) | Prophecy (gunnygblog.wordpress.com)
- STAR’S ‘LAST QUACKS’?A&E may be finished with ‘Duck Dynasty’ member (foxnews.com)
- Phil Robertson Gets Suspended From ‘Duck Dynasty’ For Comparing Homosexuality To Bestiality (elitedaily.com)