Is the “Duck Dynasty” downturn officially upon us? While this A&E series has become one of the biggest phenomenons on television over the past few years, the comments from their family patriarch this week may be enough to turn much of Hollywood (and a good part of the fans) against them.
We are specifically referring to an interview that Phil Robertson gave to GQ (which hits stands on Christmas Eve), where he makes a series of anti-gay comments using the Bible and his own Christian beliefs as evidence. There are clearly comments that he put at least some thought into, based on how he makes references to different parts of scripture.
On the modern way of life – “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine … 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.”
Phil using Corinthians as evidence – “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
And this pretty much sums it up for Phil – “It seems like, to me, a [woman's anatomy] — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes… But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
There are a number of interesting reactions to get through here, but let’s start off with A&E seemingly realizing that these comments were a problem. Phil issued a new statement through the network that is sort of apologizing, but also still asserting that he still stands against the principle of homosexuality:
“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together … However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
Meanwhile, GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz was quick to take not only Phil, but the network to task for these sort of comments coming out for everyone to see:
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
One of the things about these comments that makes it such poor timing is that Barbara Walters is actually going to feature the Robertsons on her “Most Fascinating People” special tonight, which was filmed long in advance but before the controversy.
But what we probably all need to realize right now is this: This is not a situation where Phil woke up and suddenly felt this way. He’s had these opinions about scripture and homosexuality for a long time. The only reason it’s news now is that A&E has been very careful to try and take as much of the religion out of “Duck Dynasty” as possible, which is something that Phil has even complained about in the past. So we really can’t be surprised that any of this is happening.
While Phil certainly has the First Amendment rights to feel however he wants, we’ll be interested to see whether viewers will move away from this show now that they start to realize that there is more to the Robertson clan then they see on TV.
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