Andrew Sullivan: Phil Robertson Suspension 'Preposterous,' 'Unfair'
Even Andrew Sullivan, the prominent gay writer who has been hailed as a pioneer, said he was "befuddled" by A&E's suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. He called the suspension "preposterous" and "unfair."
A&E suspended Robertson on Wednesday for comments to GQ that were deemed to be "anti-gay."
"He’s a reality show character, for Pete’s sake. Not an A&E spokesman," Sullivan wrote on his blog on Thursday. "He’s being fired for staying in character – a character A&E have nurtured and promoted and benefited from. Turning around and demanding a Duck Dynasty star suddenly become the equivalent of a Rachel Maddow guest is preposterous and unfair."
Sullivan observed that the show is a "kind of celebration of a culture where duck hunting is the primary religion, but where fundamentalist Christianity is also completely pervasive."
"Now I seriously don’t know what A&E were expecting when the patriarch Phil Robertson was interviewed by GQ," he said. "But surely the same set of expectations that one might have of an ostensibly liberal host of a political show would not be extended to someone whose political incorrectness was the whole point of his stardom."