Well, that was fast! A & E put the star of the Duck Dynasty reality show, Phil Robertson, on indefinite suspension less than two weeks ago for saying ridiculous things in a GQ magazine interview. Among other things, Robertson said that homosexuality is a sin that leads to other sins like bestiality. He also said that black people were happier pre-Civil Rights Movement, before “entitlement” and welfare.
GLAAD and other LGBT rights organizations denounced Robertson’s words and A & E swiftly put Robertson on indefinite suspension. The network issued a statement that made reference to Robertson’s anti-gay remarks, but made no mention of the racist remarks. In fact, most of the criticism and support for Robertson were about the gay comments.
But despite (or maybe because of) the huge media firestorm surrounding Robertson’s words, A & E has decided to bring Robertson back on the show. It’s no surprise that the network changed its tune, Duck Dynasty is the highest rated reality show in television history. But once again, A& E has issued a statement that makes no specific mention of Robertson’s racist comments. The network did say, however, that it will launch a national PSA campaign that will promote unity amongst all people.
GLAAD has issued a statement regarding Robertson’s return to the show and they did in fact mention the racial aspect of the commentary. “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. 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.”
Are you surprised that A & E brought Robertson back so quickly? Do you care about what is said by Duck Dynasty cast members?