Will Duck Dynasty Fans Support Phil Robertson More Than A&E Does?
With the fifth season of the record-setting reality-ish series Duck Dynasty ready to premiere in January, the show is making the news as family patriarch Phil Robertson is interviewed by GQ magazine and has the audacity to answer questions about his personal opinion.
Now, anyone who watches the series knows Robertson is a Baptist minister. They know each episode ends with a prayer. They know that Robertson is very conservative in his expressions and pulls no punches. So I have to wonder what GQ expected when they asked him about homosexuality – a subject that has no bearing on the show itself. This writer suspects that the New York magazine got exactly the answer it wanted:
"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.”
There are three important words that seem to be getting missed in all this hullaballoo: “That’s just me.” A normal person would see this as an expression of a personal opinion. But expressions of personal opinion are the one thing that is taboo in today’s society – especially if the opinion is solicited!
It didn’t end there, as Robertson was then asked about Civil Rights. Speaking only as any individual can, Robertson pulled on his own personal experience. "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field. ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word!”
You know what, GQ? Neither have I, ever once, seen the mistreatment of a black person, or a gay person. Has it happened? Certainly! But in my life, in my experiences, I haven’t witnessed it, and if asked about it that’s what I would have to say. So I guess it’s time for me to put on my camouflage and grow my beard, because I’m apparently as equally bigoted as Robertson is being portrayed – a portrayal that is now also being picked up and propagated by the National Action Network, an organization run by the Reverend Al Sharpton. (Note: Pastor Phil Robertson actually has a congregation; Reverend Al Sharpton, not so much.)
So does A&E, the network that airs the mega-popular show, stand behind their star?
No. No, A&E executives are decidedly not happy, happy, happy, and have taken the first of what will no doubt be several steps on the path of trying to Paula Deen the Duck Dynasty star. Effective immediately, Phil Robertson has been put on indefinite hiatus from filming. What impact this will have on airing the Duck Dynasty episodes already filmed for the new season are yet to be seen. More importantly, will the ratings of the show suffer, or will fans stand in support of the star? The fans might stand behind him, but if the episodes aren’t there to be watched, will they even have the opportunity to stand behind him?