At first, the gay advocacy group GLAAD successfully urged A&E network to punish Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for comments about homosexuals he made in GQ. But now that the network has relented and returned the elder Robertson to his reality show, the advocacy group is not very happy at all.
“Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists,” GLAAD said in a statement to the press. “If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A&E has chosen profits over African American and gay people–especially its employees and viewers.”
The cable network initially placed Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson on “indefinite suspension” for paraphrasing the Bible’s listing of sins, one of which was the act of homosexuality. GLAAD immediately claimed that Robertson should be fired for “some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people.” The group also said that his comments were “littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”
After the suspension, the gay advocacy group celebrated A&E’s decision to punish the reality show patriarch, saying, “By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”
It is interesting that GLAAD put Robertson’s comments about African Americans first in its own statement about his comments on homosexuals. One might think that GLAAD feels it lost the battle on that issue and needed the cover of “racism” to add heft to its complaints.
Still, the statement takes Robertson’s comments out of context and mischaracterizes them.
Robertson made no such claim that Jim Crow laws did not harm African Americans, nor did he “compare” homosexuals to terrorists.
In the end, the A&E network put itself in an untenable position with its hasty decision to place Robertson on “indefinite suspension.”
Once network executives announced the suspension, the rest of the Robertson family put out a statement saying they couldn’t see going on with the show without the head of their family being involved. Thus, A&E was stuck with either hewing to its original punishment and possibly losing the show entirely or relenting and making executives look like they have no principles.
In the end, A&E decided that it didn’t want to lose the estimated $500 million empire Duck Dynasty has spawned, nor did it want to lose the highest-rated show in its entire history.