Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, December 27, 2013
The petition calling for the reinstatement of Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson on the A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty” surpassed its goal of a quarter-million signatures Friday morning, further expanding the controversy between one of America’s most popular families and the debate over political correctness in the United States.
The petition was launched by Faith Driven Consumer, an organization focusing on Christianity in the marketplace, eight days ago after the cable network suspended Robertson over comments he made to GQ magazine deemed to be homophobic and racial. It calls for the network to immediately reinstate the family patriarch on the top-rated reality show, accusing the cable network in a letter included with the petition of “intolerant, discriminator, and punitive treatment” of Robertson and claiming that his views are “simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage and family.” The letter also requests a formal apology by the network to Robertson, his family and viewers of the program.
In the GQ profile, Robertson, a self-proclaimed ‘Bible thumper,’ went on to compare homosexuality to bestiality, and said the “homosexual offenders” won’t “inherit the kingdom of God.”
“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,” Robertson said.
Several prominent celebrities and politicians, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, have voiced their support for the Robertson family as well.
“Free speech is an endangered species,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive,” Jindal said in a statement. “But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”
In response to the controversy, A&E later said that several new scenes of the show set to air in January will include Robertson, as it was strongly rumored that the family would bring the show to a different network if Robertson was permanently banned from the show. The network also ran a “Duck Dynasty” marathon over Christmas.
“The network also hopes the media and fan furor will cool down over the holidays and that tensions over shooting future episodes can then be resolved,” Entertainment Weekly reports. “There’s no negotiation to have; we’re doing the show,” an inside source told them.