Cable network A&E is acting as if Phil Robertson sandbagged them with his comments about homosexuality, resulting in the network suspending him from the program Duck Dynasty. However, a report has emerged that the network had a publicist with Robertson during the interview and must have known what he was saying.
The new report reveals that A&E had a representative sitting with Duck Dynasty family patriarch Phil Robertson for much of the interview with GQ magazine. While the report claims that the publicist wasn’t present during the specific comments in question, Robertson had made similar comments in other parts of the interview and made them while the publicist was there.
“A&E sent a publicist for the duration of the interview, but she was not there for the ‘anus v vagina’ comment. But to be honest, Phil was making similar comments throughout the interview and it’s not like he wouldn’t have said it in front of her. It was just that they were riding ATVs and the publicist was not there for that specific moment,” the source said.
The family is finding much support, some of it coming from interesting directions. With prominent gay blogger Andrew Sullivan siding with Robertson’s right to say his piece without getting fired, it is far from certain that this fracas will end up harming the Duck Dynasty brand. After all, the sorts of folks who are most upset at Robertson’s comments are neither fans nor viewers of the show.
The Robertson family has released a statement noting that they are inclined to stand by Phil and hinting that the end may be near for their relationship with A&E.
Many are also pointing out that the mischaracterization of Robertson’s comments has gotten out of hand. The claim that Robertson “compared” or “equated” homosexuality to bestiality is simply incorrect.
With his paraphrasing of a Biblical list of sins, Robertson listed them together, certainly, but did not claim them to be of equal status. For example, a list of crimes having both murder and petty theft on it is still a listing of crimes but is not one stating that murder is equivalent to petty theft.