For the record, I could care less what Phil Robertson thinks about gay people, black people during Jim Crow or anything else for that matter. The father in the popular reality show “Duck Dynasty” was surely playing to his fan base when he spouted off to GQ magazine about how sinful gay people are then proceeded to revise history by saying black folks in his neck of the woods were actually happy under Jim Crow laws.
As his fellow hunters would say, “Phil, that dog won’t hunt no more.”
A&E, the network that carries his popular reality TV show, responded predictably by suspending the bearded patriarch for his offensive remarks. But here’s the rub. This kind of controversy gives people like Robertson a chance to gain more fans with their hate speech. And of course they like to hide behind the Bible while doing so. The same Bible that tells us we should love our fellow man and judge ye not, lest we be judged.
After a couple of weeks of publicity, some online petitions for and against Phil staying on the show and a pledge from the rest of the “Duck Dynasty” cast not to continue the show without him, A&E announced that Phil will be back for the new season in January. And it’s no wonder, since “Duck Dynasty” is the network’s most popular thing going with the cable channel’s viewers. The controversy surrounding Phil’s remarks to GQ will attract more people to the show; which makes you wonder if it wasn’t planned to end this way.
It will be up to viewers to decide whether they want to continue to support the show. A month or so ago I caught one episode of “Duck Dynasty” because I was curious after hearing about how the family went from selling hunting gear to having their own reality show. Now that I know the “Duck Dynasty” klan is peddling bigotry alongside family values and Christianity, I’ll not be watching again.
My guess is, the regulars will continue to support it — and that’s their right. We do live in America, where people have the right to say what they think. As Paula Deen found out, it will either help or hurt their respective brands.
As long as the Phils and Paulas aren’t in policy making roles, they can say whatever they want. In fact, I’d rather know than not know where I stand with the likes of them.