I have no idea how some duck call widdler from Louisiana managed to get the entire country all whipped up into a frenzy over some rather tired views on gay people, but it did… getting him “Indefinitely suspended” (Corporate speak for “fired but since he has a contract to pay out, we will just shelf him”) and sendiung legions of Duck Dynasty loving Americans into full on protest mode.
But what manner of insanity brought this all to a head???
It all started on the pages of GQ….
During an interview with the shockingly still in print magazine, Phil Robertson, the reality show star and patriarch of the bearded television family, revealed some rather harsh personal views he has regarding homosexuals.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. 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. Don’t be deceived. 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.”
He went on, straying from his loose recitations of Corinthians in order to focus on the most confounding part of the lifestyle of the Gay:
“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.”
Needless to say, a big gay firestorm broke out.
GLAAD quickly ran in, outraged about the horrific lies being told by the duck call maker about the immorality of the gay, proclaiming that Robertson's "vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
And so begins the shakedown…
Feeling the pressure of the protest, A&E buckled like a Cheap card table in record time, Indefinitely suspending Robertson. The network released this statement:
“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. 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.”
That said, with season 4 already in the can and ready to start up, Phil will be featured as much as normal.
Prior to he public announcement of his indefinite suspension, Phil released the following statement through A&E:
“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.”
Freedom of Speech???
A man answers a question in an interview regarding his personal feelings on a subject and somehow gets fired for it...
I know, I know... The station reserves the right to fire those it feels tarnishes their image, blah, blah, blah... But seriously... Shouldn't this man be allowed to have an opinion- all be it an unpopular one- and continue to make a living? He didn't call for their deaths, or say they should be put in jail. He merely said that in his opinion- founded in the teachings of his God- that homosexuality is an abomination.
This is probably a view he shares with the whole of his audience, not to mention that Pope everyone is so in love with these days, and it gets him fired?
I know this knee jerk response by GLAAD- enraged that a Born Again Southerner would find fault in their lifestyle- and by calling for his head, somehow empower the voiceless they are representing. But penalizing ugly (unthreatening) speech by penalty of termination isn't the solution... Outlawing the free expression of ugly thoughts can only causes a bigger problem.
Not being able to say these sorts of thing out in polite society isn't going to make people not think it anymore...
They just won't say it in public any longer. They will keep these thoughts private, whispered only among compatriots; the repression of the thought festering it into a rabid hate. Soon, that acceptance you so long for and think you brought it about due to not hearing any more yucky things said about you will become fractured and strained, leaving only a tattered shamble of our rights to free expression shredded in the interest of self esteem preservation .
It's sad when you see that our Freedom of Speech is being eroded on a daily basis... It’s sadder still when you realize that it isn't some megalithic police state clamping down on the free people but the people themselves.