‘Duck Dynasty’ Suspension: Why A&E Played Its Cards Right

'Duck Dynasty' Scramble Leaves A&E With

It’s been a tough 24 hours for the “Duck Dynasty” cast — or for Phil Robertson, at least.

In case you’ve missed the media blitz, the reality star was lambasted online and then promptly suspended from the A&E reality series in the wake of his comments regarding homosexuality made in an interview with GQ.

What was likely expected to be a positive day of press for the bearded cast member — the GQ story went live the same day that a “Duck Dynasty” cover story ran in the Hollywood Reporter — quickly went sour thanks to a barrage of news articles and angry tweets condemning Robertson and his remarks.

Robertson, for his part, issued a statement before being indefinitely suspended from his television show.

“I myself am a product of the ’60s,” Robertson said. “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.”

Hours later, however, A+E Networks (parent company of A&E) revealed that it had placed the star on indefinite filming hiatus, stating, “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.”

Robertson’s indefinite suspension from “Duck Dynasty” marks one of the swiftest reactions by a network in response to controversial remarks.

Food Network severed ties with Paula Deen in June following Deen’s admission that she’d used racial slurs in the past, but that ordeal took days to unfold, climaxing with a series of cancelled interviews and uncomfortable taped apologies. And when A&E dealt with the controversy in 2007 over a racial slur used by Duane “Dog” Chapman of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” by pulling the program from its airwaves,  it allowed the show to return a few months later after the hubbub had died down.

“Duck Dynasty” is A&E’s strongest property, breaking ratings record after ratings record in its fourth season on the cabler. Program recently bowed a Christmas spesh that drew over 9 million viewers, and plans to return for the rest of its fourth run in January.

Some may wonder — why promptly suspend Phil Robertson (and indefinitely, at that — one step away from firing) when A&E could, like other networks, simply distance itself and issue a stern statement? Especially when this is such a highly rated program?

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.

With that in mind, A&E played its cards right. Because the show has such a strong ensemble cast, A&E is likely comfortable in cutting Phil Robertson loose, knowing that the remaining members of the Robertson clan can support the comedic docuseries’ narrative in future episodes of the program. Unlike the situation with “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” Phil Robertson was not the sole face (or beard) of “Duck Dynasty” — the show can carry on without him (assuming the other family members do not balk at his suspension), and the firestorm of criticism can be tempered online.

Would A&E at this point suspend a reality star that carried an entire program? That we do not know. But networks are certainly growing bolder when it comes to severing ties with inflammatory talent. MSNBC canned Alec Baldwin last month from his newbie primetime talkshow following his use of gay slurs, thereby nixing a potentially profitable show — and notable talent — from its lineup. And Food Network ending its relationship with Deen meant losing one of its most recognizable network faces (though her presence lives on on the net’s website.)

Of course, a “backlash to the backlash” has already unfolded, as conservative groups decry A&E’s decision, claiming it attacks “freedom of speech and freedom of religion.” The move to indefinitely suspend Phil Robertson has sparked a broader discussion about what CNN has dubbed “belief versus bigotry” — what is a network to do when its talent expresses an opinion that is on the steep decline in the nation? One that is considered discriminatory in an increasingly open-minded American population?

Unlike with scripted programs, reality stars are in the biz of selling their personal brand, one that becomes inextricably linked to the network that airs the unscripted show — and perhaps even more so with A&E, since the program is the most buzzed-about series on its lineup. The “Duck Dynasty” cast has certainly taken advantage of its elevated brand, not only with the bevy of Robertson family merchandise available to consumers, but also with its political campaigning for conservative leadership in Louisiana (the Robertson family is widely credited in helping get Louisiana political newcomer Vance McAllister into congress in November).

What’s more, the Robertson family has ultimately never strayed from its conservative and religious lifestyle as it champions Christian orgs. Gurney Prods., the Los Angeles-based unscripted shingle behind the show, has walked a fine line of highlighting the faith element in the family’s rags-to-riches story — which has made the show a draw for some viewers who would not otherwise tune in — but not so much that it overshadows the folksy-comedic nature of the family’s relationships. A broader issue at play is the fact that networks are willing to market reality stars with “redneck” roots for ratings gain, yet distance themselves once fundamentalists values are publicly revealed.

A&E likely had more than an inkling of Phil Robertson’s line of thinking when it comes to sexuality, but was never forced to confront those thoughts in such a broad public forum as the GQ article. The net was able to offer viewers a section of Phil Robertson’s personal brand in half-hour chunks, but, this week, America began to fill in the missing pieces with his graphic remarks about heterosexual and homosexual sex. Whether the net dug its own grave when it came to promoting reality stars that maintain ultra-conservative values is up for debate — was this debacle inevitable, given the family A&E and Gurney Prods. chose to highlight?

Either way, the cabler has been able to establish its progressive corporate values, maintain its relationship with advertisers, and not collapse an entire reality show in the process. The bullet wasn’t entirely dodged, but it at least didn’t hit a main artery.

The fallout is well under way, though, as Phil Robertson-related hashtags trend across Twitter and stories crop up online and on-air left and right. Network brass will have to wait and see if “Duck Dynasty” ratings are affected when it returns to the net on Jan. 15. Some fans of the show who support Phil Robertson have vowed to not tune in, but those angry social- media promises often lose their edge as weeks pass, and the media are distracted by a new problem to base segments on. Right now, the reverberation continues: an old myth claims that a duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and never before has the myth been so debunked.

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  1. HARRY says:

    PEOPLE WHO STOP WATCHING A&E OVER THAT TRASH HAVE A SMALL MIND .GO LIVE IN THE WOODS WITH THAT TRASH U DONT NEED A TV ANYWAYS..

  2. Virginia H Spencer says:

    This is not a gay issue. It is freedom of speech. Block A&E. Their sponsors will do the rest. My oldest son was gay. He passed from aids. Did I love him? YES Did I agree with his lifestyle? NO End of story. Virginia H Spencer Las Vegas Nevada

    • Jason Cooper says:

      Virginia – you are a horrible person and NEVER deserved to be a mother. If there is a HELL that is where you spend eternity! and NO not at all did you LOVE your son!! What a despicable human being! Hopefully you will die soon too

  3. STEVE says:

    SOME NERVE REDNECK TRASHY HILLBILLIES NEED TO GO!!!TAKE A BATH!!!

  4. krisa says:

    Consider the source trash is trash i think the show is boring and stupid

  5. Juan says:

    Well, if the folks who support this “show” will not tune in to protest I for one will be glad. Shows like this, which highlight the US’s fascination with lowest cultural denominators, gun worship and redneck/hillbilly mindsets are a blight on the TV landscape, and promote a consumerism, proud-to-be-ignorant, narcissistic mindset that the US can do without. Opinions on human sexuality such as the one stated by this person are free speech, but free speech does not mean consequence-free speech. You can spout sexist, racist hoodoo and not go to prison but the network is equally free to act on such utterances and kick your butt out, since as polls show, the vast majority of Americans have no issues with same sex relations and most would find such utterances at least objectionable and TV is a business in it to make money and one does not make money by offending the majority of the audience and the advertising dollars also know this.

    • Denna Freed says:

      Tell that to the 3.5 million people who have signed the petition AGAINST A & E’s decision!

      You are misinformed – the vast majority of American’s identify as Christian, and while most have adopted a “keep your mouth shut” stance – that doesn’t mean they AGREE with the lifestyle.

      You people should take the same “keep your mouth shut” stance – because when you open it you just show how intolerant and uninformed you really are…

  6. tony says:

    they need not worry about homos they need to worry about taking baths and cleaning themselves up!!!! gross yuck trash

  7. Marilyn Fehr says:

    I think A&E was wrong. They have lost my viewing of their programs. Everyone knew what the DD stood for, & the show was popular. I hate political correctness! We are all entitled to our own beliefs. Anyone should be able to watch the program if it met their values. If it didn’t, they should watch another program. A&E has lost credibility. I will not watch any of their programs while they ban DD.

  8. tony says:

    they need not worry about homos they need to worryabout taking baths andcleaning themselves up!!!! gross yuck trash

  9. richard says:

    Phil said his peace, A&E stuck to their values. Always a consequence. lots of companies have expectations of employees….even when not at work. My low profile, low pay job probably wouldn’t appreciate such comments from me on a national forum. No worries, not in danger of such exposure.

  10. phil Robertson is right about gay life styles among other things.it;s o.k to the media for cussing sex on t.v but don’t speak of god in or you go to jail. keep phil on the air or a and e is goi9ng to hell in abig ole rotted basket.i stand with phil all the way keep him or you are going down the drain.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Variety hires the writers that cant even cut it at yahoo.

  12. James says:

    A and E networks are idiots duck dynasty is the best show I watch all the time (I will BOYCOTT FOR THIS BING PHIL BACK!!!

  13. Brian says:

    Amen,same here!

  14. Stus says:

    Funny how this site is called “variety”!

  15. You state that he compared homosexuality to bestiality, when in reality – that did not happen. He did list off examples of what he considered sinful, and bestiality, promiscuity and homosexuality did make the cut, but he was not comparing. He even went as far as to use the term “morph out” – meaning, to change subject.

    He also voiced his personal opinion about homosexual acts without disparaging anyone. The notion that somehow by labeling homosexuality as a “sin” is offensive or anti-gay is just outrageous. The overwhelming majority of Christian theologians, researchers and practitioners realize that homosexual acts are (as many other acts that are also considered normal) a sin.

    Even further, there’s not a drop of evidence that supports the assumption that he treats people differently based on sexual orientation.

    It’s all about context – and context is frequently lost when people refuse to read the full, unedited quotes.

    These were not “hateful” or “anti-gay” comments. They were personal opinions, truthfully espoused on private property, without a filter.

    The fact that some actually try to spin them tells more about their own moral character than the one they are attempting to disparage.

  16. Dwayne says:

    Simply stop watching A&E channels (including History and H2) as I have chosen to do. I’m sick of the PC Police censoring personal opinion in America. Every true ‘Liberal’ or “Libertarian’ should truly feel the same.

  17. robin coffey/kenny robinson says:

    Phil has the right to his belief and a&e are gonna find out that the beards stick together and they will support phil as they should I support u phil and I will miss ur show but its not duck dynasty without u go phil

  18. Erock says:

    Deleted A&E from my tv’s and so has my family members!..A&E can march with the gays, as for me and my family we march with Phil and his family.. Good riddance! Freedom of speech bitches!

  19. jeff says:

    “With Phil Robertson’s remarks comparing homosexuality to bestiality,”I thought the GQ article stated that Phil Robertson had compiled a list of sins when he was asked and that adultery, bestiality and homosexuality were among the listed sins. I didn’t think he had compared any sins to another making one more offensive to Phil the another. If you do not want to hear an opinion, do not ask.

  20. Brian says:

    There is no show without Phil,for Christmas my teen boys only wanted the talking Phil doll,with great sayings,best out of all the bearded ones,with great lessons of life that he has learned from his years of wisdom,if his words of wisdom don’t sit well with some people,they don’t have to watch the program or read his words,i know they don’t want to hear his words as he prays to God at the end of every show,our families favorite part,God thank you for this day and help us understand the actions that some might take that we can’t understand,this week that we celebrate your son ,let us come together as families as the Robertsons do on a daily basis,Amen!

  21. Karen Douglas says:

    Not that I agree with Phil’s suspension or the spin of your article, but that last sentence is epic.

  22. Donna says:

    Flaming lib. The cards are all in the hands of Phil Robertson. No sweat from him. All the sweat is on A&E.

    • Jacy says:

      People will watch all future episodes in which Phil Robertson is featured. And that’s IF the Robertson clan will continue doing the show.) A&E don’t hold your breath. But when the “suspension” begins it’s going to be aloha on the string guitar for A&E (Which will just about kill the majority of their revenues.) My message to A&E: This show is your greatest money maker. Your future financial gain is in serious jeopardy so when it comes to that I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  23. Paul says:

    In America we have that pesky little thing called the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees “We the People” , not We some of the People, the unabridged right of freedom of speech, whether we are offended or not. Now as an employer, I guess A&E has a right to fire an employee or cancel a show, but market forces (viewing audience) should ultimately determine the outcome of Duck Dynasty. Having listened to everything Phil Robertson said pertaining to both homosexuality or race, I found nothing hateful or incendiary from Mr. Robertson. Only a personal observation, which last time I checked is not to be abridged according to the Constitution. A&E should (but don’t have to) apply the same latitude to Duck Dynasty as they do to their own employees who share varying opinions or observations.

  24. Gary Carter says:

    The author is obviously another “liberal” thought bully in a long line of Orwellian “enforcers”. If the left are such liberals, why are so many of them willing to go for a man’s throat over his non violent, non invasive religious beliefs? Bottom line? Who’s dumping on who here? Time to push back…

  25. Kirby says:

    A&E played its cards right? At this point the Robertson’s will either walk away from the show, the show will be boycotted or A&E will have to bring Phil back. Either way A&E looks stupid for picking a side in a battle where their most profitable show was up for grabs. Seems like a bad business decision to me.

  26. Smithster says:

    Just another uninformed writer of an article that is twisting this whole thing up — it says “With Phil Robertson’s remarks comparing homosexuality to bestiality….” Phil did not compare homo to best. He paraphrased from the Bible. And where are the protests from the adulterers, idolizers, slanders, etc. he talked about? I thought so. Pick and choose and try to inflame. “Gay rights” applies if people agree with them. Anyone that doesn’t agree gets attacked. Go Robertson’s. I stand behind you.

  27. Daniel says:

    Freedom of speech is a one way road where liberals can freely drive with open comments and support of liberal concepts, that is called freedom of speech in The United States of America. When the road has two way traffic and a conservative speaks his mind and quotes the best selling book of all time, The Holy Bible, it becomes a hate message. There is right and there is wrong. We as Americans need to begin the long climb back to the fundamental rock our forefathers built our great nation on, freedm to worship God.

    • skb says:

      Daniel, I’m sorry, but you have obviously not read the parts of the GQ article that have been published and shared with the public. Phil does indeed compare homosexuality with bestiality.

      “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he explained when asked by GQ’s Drew Magary what exactly he considered sinful, “bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

      Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson-equates-homosexuality-bestiality-article-1.1551556#ixzz2o210zUnk

      What so many people are failing to grasp is that this is not a liberal vs conservative issue. This is not a freedom of speech issue. This is not a freedom of religion issue. This is an employment issue.

      In the United States, employers are free to place clauses in employee handbooks and contracts that explicitly state what an employee can and cannot say in public forums. My employer has such a clause in their employee handbook. The clause simply says criticism of the company or engaging in controversial or illegal activity can and will be addressed, up to and including termination.

      If you are truly angry that Phil has been suspended, your best bet is to contact your local representatives and tell them to put an end to “at will” employment and to restrict companies from including ethics and morality clauses in contracts.

      • Tracy says:

        “In the United States, employers are free to place clauses in employee handbooks and contracts that explicitly state what an employee can and cannot say in public forums.”

        Of course they *can*. The other question is … did they?

        Yes, A&E is well within their rights to terminate their contract with him if they so desire, depending on what type of contract they have with him..

        My real question, however, is why anyone is surprised by this beliefs. It’s not big news that Phil is a born-again Christian. It’s not big news that most born-again Christians believe homosexuality is a sin and tend to read the Bible literally. It’s also no big surprise that self-described rednecks from the deep South might hold far more conservative views than those held by the execs at A&E or indeed by huge portions of the rest of the United States.

        So basically everyone (including the people who are saying their outraged by his comments now) has known that Phil wasn’t attending gay marriage rights conventions in his spare time. So the real issue here seems to me not to be his beliefs, but rather that he had the audacity to express them.

        And expressing your beliefs is something that is considered protected. A&E knew who they were hiring, they were fine with his beliefs until he decided to express them and there was public outrage. And THAT doesn’t seem fair to me.

  28. eqquesz says:

    Everyone knew the Jews were running the Banks and the Media machine- But we didn’t know they were going to be led by Qu##rs on all the decision making in entertainment.

  29. Chelsea says:

    While I fully support the gay right movement, I don’t think what he said is a huge deal. Everyone has a right to their opinion and should not be attacked for it. Everyone is so sensitive these days. Get over it! I think some of these comments are making me angrier than the actual article. All I see is “I’m sick of getting this gay and lesbian crap shoved down our throats”. I’m sure gay and lesbians get tired of having that “Christianity crap” shoved down theirs sometimes. Live and let live people. I get that people love this show and I understand why, I’ve watched it a few times. However, it is a tv show and there will be others in its place. I don’t think A&E is really that screwed with this, but I do think they’re being a tad bit sensitive.

  30. Jean Hurley says:

    A&E -RIDICULOUS! Caving in to Gay Lobby- (or are they all gay over there?) Who cares? Last time I looked, freedom to express our religious views in this country is protected by the Constitution.

    • eqquesz says:

      N0- – Not any more- Throw out the Constitution- The F@ggots ARE going to make a big deal out of it, to get the attention they never got @ home when growing up

  31. K Mashburn says:

    We got ye back Phil!!! Tell the world the truth ! Someone needs to! A&E you need to grow some balls and stand up for what’s rite!! Our country has enough BS without you trying to take someone like Phil Robertson off a show just for speaking the respectable truth! It’s the only show that a true Christian family can sit down and watch without even hearing a curse word! And this is to the gay people ” if your not ashamed of it then why make a big deal of it” ?? That’s what I thought you know it’s wrong!! A&E if Phil leaves for good you can say goodbye to “Duck Dynasty ” cause the family will never leave him out to dry!! And the people here in tennessee will cancel the A&E channel

  32. Becky says:

    You get paid to write this junk?

  33. Cherokee Man says:

    I’m not sure if many people outside Louisiana realize that it is now DUCK SEASON in Louisiana. By now surely someone has gone into the woods and told Phil about the support he has received from millions of Americans;but I doubt if it alters his day in any way. Media types and social networker types and google news followers are in a frenzy right now, not Phil. Phil has millions of fans, a loving family and plenty of money. Do not be confused or misled about this – Phil is in the woods having a great day.

  34. Laura B says:

    I am very disappointed in A&E. Mr. Robertson is entitled to his opinion. The show is Christian based and A&E was aware of that when they produced the show. In addition. A&E did not mind making money off the show. Due to A&E knowing the values of the Robertson family Phil should be immediately re-instated and an apology from A&E. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year and may God Bless everyone.

  35. Mike says:

    It’s time the Christians in this country speak their minds and the truths of the Bible. Phil was asked his opinion, he gave it, when nut cases from Hollywood go hang out with mass killers it well his opinion! When a Christian answers a question he’s a bigot to silence! Problem is the silence is NOW OVER you have awoken a giant as the Japanese said it, we will use the tactics of the left boycott products and sponsors

    • eqquesz says:

      First of all- I don’t care what the GOV says or the Courts OPINION about g@ys. I will NEVER hire a Homosexual- I will avoid buying into their products, TV shows, etc…this is all I can do. Now the Population of Homosexuals across the world is about 5 or 6 percent. Do you want your children to be taught by any of them, influenced by their tactics? You can see a vivid description of what they are trying to accomplish and , by surprise, the Majority of the people have bought and paid for these sick individuels by just the time that is put into forwarding their SICK and Disgusting agenda. Enter Sochi and President V. Putin, and what the world will say now. I am running to the hills, now.

      • eqquesz says:

        I have no g@y friends; no one I know as a friend is g@y, if he was , I would not associate with him, I don’t have to. There is NOTHING wrong with this point of view- I recommend a best, safe distance from being associated with, Homosexuals, BGLQT communities, and Homosexuality as a Christian.

      • jsm1963 says:

        Gay people are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. You are truely gonig to lead a spartain life.

  36. Mike Wendeler says:

    Your report is factually incorrect. Robertson never compared homosexuality to beastiality. That is a lie. Now let me school you liberal morons. 1. Homosexuality is an attraction to the same sex…it haas nothing to do with the ACT of homosexual sex. 2. All Robertson said is that the ACT of sex between members of the same sex is a sin according to his Christian beliefs. Again…it’s about the SEX ACT…not the person. Now if you disagree that sex between members of the same gender is sin..that’s fine. If you don’t believe in God or the Bible..that’s fine too and you are certainly entitled to that opinion. But your contention that the simple statement “I’m a Christian and according to my interpretation of the Bible, sex between two members of the same sex is a sin”, is anti-gay or homophobic is 100% absurd. He didn’t say kill gays; he didn’t say fire all gays from their jobs, he didn’t say he hates PEOPLE who are gay. He said he believes that sex between 2 people of the same sex is a sin. Again to say someone is a bigot because they believe a certain sex act is a sin is more stupid PC bullcrap from you POS liberals.

  37. k Bobbs says:

    I support Phi And the true marriage of man and woman. I believe homosexuality is a disease and should be treated as such .

  38. Joe says:

    Please consider printing this article out to line the bottom of the bird cage because that’s about all it is worth! A& E is glorifying serial killers (Bonnie and Clyde), putting drug abusers and menally ill on for entertainment (Hoarders and Intervention). HAVE YOU SEEN THE LIKES ON FACEBOOK A&E vs. DUCK DYNASTY. Over 7 Million for Duck Dynasty and only a few hundred thousand for A&E. YEAH RIGHT, REAL GOOD MOVE!!This article is so stupid. You actually think the family is going to go along with business as usual.

  39. Brandi Boone says:

    That’s some major bs. Shame on you A&E. With all the crap that’s shown or said on tv and you want to suspend a good natured christian man for his thoughts then we all might as well go back to no tv, no Internet or nothing. There’s always going to be someone that expresses their beliefs and ways of life, and if we can so quickly condemn Phil Robertson then we should all be condemned. There goes another amendment, the freedom of speech.

  40. GenePoole63 says:

    We are deeply disappointed at your decision to censor the comments of Mr. Robinson and suspend him from A & E Network. America is a country in which all of our views should be respected, not just those of gay, lesbian groups. Gays are not superior to the rest of us, they are an equal part of society.

    Liberal slurs about conservatives are the most vile, disgusting forms of hate speech imaginable. Yet, people in the leftist media use such smears with impunity.

    Mr. Robinsons comments were thoughtful, made with respect, and express his religious beliefs. If he were a Muslim this wouldn’t have been an issue, but as a Christian he faces persecution.

    A & E Network shouldn’t submit to such knee jerk, childish behavior.. Think about our rights, freedoms, and those who fought to protect them. This isn’t North Korea, A & E is not part of the Government Propaganda Ministry.

    Stop this persecution of Christian beliefs, and become part of America’s open society. We can disagree on what we think is right or wrong without suffering such draconian punishments. Speaking the truth is not a crime.

  41. muhname says:

    This is pathetic. The rallying cry of liberals today at work here: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion… as long as it agrees with mine.”

    What a hypocrisy.

  42. a&e did Not get it right. The Silent Majority is tired of being bullied be p.c. chihuahuas.

  43. NotSoQuick says:

    Not So Much , I believe you are incorrect and the Day was a bad one for A&E as The Robinson’s stand firm and the majority of the Public appear to be behind them, Kudos to them!

  44. Sassy axie says:

    Variety, have you by any chance witnessed the huge backlash against A&E? Turns out, their viewer base is actually in Phil’s corner. We live in the USA where is is actually legal, nay, aright to freedom of speech. That speech is not limited to just one group or another…it is for all. Further,new have freedom of religion. The Bible speaks plainly against homosexuality….which is in part why it has taken so long to become “main stream.” If Christians can’t have the righ to their point. Of you, ten neither can you. So pull your site off the web and stop speaking your opinions.

  45. Dear Variety, your writers must be on another planet and completely uninformed. A & E knew full well Phil Robertson’s strict adherence to the scripture and the Bible when the contract was signed. Further, the Duck Dynasty sponsors have vocally expressed their support for Mr. Robertson’s right to express his religious views as to what defines “sin” according to the Bible he worships. That said, most of us out here in the “real” world do not practice our spiritual lives adhering to many of the Bible’s limited definition of “sin”, nobody and I mean nobody is really “shocked” over Mr. Robertson’s opinion, he IS a preacher after all. He does not preach intolerance or hate and anybody professing he is a “homophobe” needs to look at the definition of what a homophobe is. He does not fear nor hate gay people but has every right to not be discriminated against based on his religious views, just as any other American has that right. A & E is not and was not caught unaware, they knew what they had and as long as corporate could get away with it, they have capitalized and milked the Robertson family values for as long as they could. For the record, the family Robertson claims it will not continue without their patriarch.

    • If he had strict adherence to scripture and the bible he would be in favor of slavery, and his delving into bestiality has nothing to do with the bible,

      • Joe says:

        Slavery in those times were not like slavery we know. Do some history checking before you start to say the bible endorses slavery. This is a very ignorant comment.

      • mike says:

        Moses was a born slave raised by a pharaoh that broke way and led the jewish slaves to the promised land and the Bible says dont sleep with your family an animal the same sex and children. He said entitlements set the poor African Americans back in his state of LA. But you seem pretty closed minded any way so good luck with that

      • mike says:

        Moses was a born slave raised by a pharaoh that broke way and led the jewish slaves to the promised land and the Bible says dont sleep with your family an animal the same sex and children. He said entitlements set the poor African Americans back in his state of LA. But you seem pretty closed minded any way so good luck with that bigot

  46. bettyboop says:

    As Mr. Riner so aptly stated, “…folks this is America”! America, the land of the free, home of the brave with a constitution that guarantees all Americans the right to speak freely even about religion. Or so we thought until “PhiL” spoke about some basic rules he learned in Sunday School which he follows more closely now days than he did as a younger man. He ran his own life without following the teachings of Christ and found himself on rock bottom at that point he started applying the word of Jesus to his everyday life and his life has improved to say the least. He spoke openly about how he interprets the Bible’s view of homosexuality, and idolatry, for example. He was placed on suspension from his TV show for exercising his right to free speech in GQ, but Phil didn’t get his picture on the cover of the ROLLING STONE–that honor is apparently reserved for radicalized muslims who kill and maim innocent Americans.

  47. Chris says:

    Wrong wrong and dead wrong. The family will stand behind Phil. America stands behind Phil. Whatever Hollywood deems “appropriate” is moot. I have never seen so much support for an actor in my lifetime. I look forward to Duck Dynasty on FOX and the future decimation of A&E and the futher promotion of Jesus Christ and the Bible.

  48. bettyboop says:

    As Mr. Riner so aptly stated, “…folks this is America”! America, the land of the free, home of the brave with a constitution that guarantees all Americans the right to speak freely even about religion. Or so we thought until “PhiL” spoke about some basic rules he learned in Sunday School which he follows more closely now days than he did as a younger man. He ran his own life without following the teachings of Christ and found himself on rock bottom at that point he started applying the word of Jesus to his everyday life and his life has improved to say the least. He spoke openly about how he interprets the Bible’s view of homosexuality, and idolatry, for example. This found it’s way into GQ, but Phil didn’t get his picture on the cover of the ROLLING STONE–that honor is apparently reserved for radicalized muslims who kill and maim innocent Americans.

  49. hillbillygirl says:

    I think the person who interveiwed Phil Robertson probably knew what kind of response they were going to get when the question was asked. Everybody knows Phil has deep religious beliefs, and, the last time I checked, everyone was entitled to have whatever beliefs they chose. Phil Robertson doesn’t hate the sinner, just the sin. A & E screwed the pooch, period.

  50. Bnsnryce says:

    How exactly were his first amendment rights trampled? He gave his opinion freely and A&E expressed their opinion of his opinion. This family was already rich and has gotten richer peddling their hillbilly hijinks to the world. Exploiting your beard, your swamp and your family doesn’t make you a Christian it makes you a Capitalist.

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