You probably guessed this was coming, at least following the internet outrage and debate that came yesterday out of A&E making the decision to suspend Phil Robertson indefinitely from “Duck Dynasty” over some comments that he made in a new interview with GQ regarding homosexuality and also his faith. A new petition has been created with over 50,000 names currently attached to this, and fans have made both Phil’s name as well as A&E a trending topic on Twitter over the past 24 hours.
Not only that, but this story has exploded in a way that it has made many within the world of politics also speak out in support of the Robertson family patriarch. Take for example former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, who likened the issue to a battle of free speech on her Facebook:
“Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”
Meanwhile, Louisiana state Governor Bobby Jindal also released a statement of his own to Fox News touting the contributions that that family has made, and even throwing Miley Cyrus into the mix for the public’s reaction to some of the stunts that she has pulled in the media:
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”
What probably makes all of this hoopla an even bigger story than it would have otherwise been is simply an issue of timing. Had some of these comments come out a few weeks ago, they probably would have been buried in the midst of other stories. But right now is a time when there are not a lot of headlines thanks to the holiday season, which makes Robertson’s words in a magazine article all the more notable and worthy of attention.
This is a story that we are going to continue to cover over the next several weeks, and you can read more about it here. Also, subscribe to the newsletter here if you want weekly updates all about this or other stories.