For some reason this “Duck Dynasty” controversy has piqued my interest. I have to admit as a guilty pleasure, I have viewed the show, and enjoyed seeing a happy, healthy family surviving and thriving in America today.
I can’t figure out the end game for either Phil Robertson or A&E and their choices concerning Phil’s interview in GQ. I had heard rumors before that Phil had been discussing his thoughts about leaving the show. Perhaps that’s why he decided to make such controversial comments now, enjoying the ability to let his feelings be known to such a giant audience while he had the chance for fame is fleeting and Phil knew it and readily admitted that. How many people get the chance for millions of people to read their opinion on anything?
While A&E caved and immediately suspended Phil Robertson for his religious and biblical comments that offended the LGBT community they may suffer for their knee-jerk reaction by igniting the religious community and free speech advocates who may boycott them. While A&E might have handled this more judiciously they blundered on the side of political correctness and might come to regret it. A&E wants to say they don’t advocate Phil’s beliefs afraid they’ll hurt someone’s feelings….but they knew what they were getting when they hired him….he’s never hidden who he is, but as soon as there was some negative controversy they feed him to the wolves by suspending him. I wonder why then, they immediately put a “Duck Dynasty” marathon on? Isn’t that a little hypocritical? If he’s damaged goods, shouldn’t everything he is associated with also be taboo at this time? Obviously not, money talks and they are ready to tap into the controversy for their own monetary gains.
As for Phil, I don’t know if this whole interview was planned or if he’s really a loose cannon who just spoke his mind. Perhaps it’s a way to bring all kinds of attention to the show and his opinion? Unfortunately, I think Phil could have expressed his beliefs a little better and less uncomfortably for all concerned, but as I said how often does a “regular” guy get to state his opinion for millions to read….and part of the “Born Again Christian” belief is sharing and spreading your beliefs. Phil could be hurting the advocacy for religion by sounding like a maniacal “bible thumper” and “ignorant redneck” when he is a college educated man, but after all, he is just a “reality show” star, no great oracle. If nothing else Phil has brought much attention to the show, his company “Duck Commander”, his beliefs, and A&E. For as Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
We’ll see how this plays out, but for now, I don’t see Phil Robertson losing. He’s a millionaire who doesn’t need the show and he could be offered a contract with another cable company who wants to pick up the reality show. His family has backed him, he gets to bow out of the show courtesy of A&E’s dismissal, and he spread his belief system for all the world to hear! The LGBT community might have done Phil a huge favor, putting him in a very strategic position to parlay this into even more money and a better contract. As for A&E, they might have to bite the bullet and admit they made a knee jerk reaction and humbly forgive Phil, accept him back into the fold and reap all the money from the publicity.
It seems there is a ground swell of support for free speech and religious freedom thanks to Phil, showing in the 180 degree swing of Cracker Barrel Restaurants having to bring back the “Duck Dynasty” merchandise that they mistakenly took off their shelves, thinking it would offend their clientele. The people have spoken and demanded it back!
© Evelyn Garone 12.23.13