Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck Dynasty Star's Nauseating Comments On Sexuality And Race Get Him Kicked Off His Own Show

Phil Robertson (circled) and the gang from "Duck Dynasty"
During the course of my day I find that I will listen to a lot of right wing radio and television. It's partially a masochistic thing on my part but mostly I subject myself to the right wing media so I hear what the other side is carrying on about that day. You know what they say about "keeping one's enemies closer".

One thing I have learned about the right wingers is that they are in love with a show called "Duck Dynasty"on the A&E Network. Full disclosure: I have not seen this particular "reality" show. The shows family is named the Robertsons who according to the Wikipedia...
Duck Dynasty's Duck Commander
"became wealthy from their family-operated business, 'Duck Commander', operated in West Monroe, Louisiana, which makes products for duck hunters, primarily the duck call named (what else) Duck Commander

The right's love affair, from what I can tell, is with the family the show is based around and their camo wearing, gun loving, good 'ol boy personas, the "we built this" ourselves story, and of course their unabashed bible thumping hyper religiosity.

Now most people understand that reality shows are anything but. they are 90 percent scripted and the rest is cobbled together by usable outtakes. This type of show is all fine and good as long as the viewer is aware of this and has decided to suspended their disbelief of their own accord. The problem with this genre of programming is when one of these reality show "stars" decides to speak off the cuff, or unscripted. This seems to be the case here with Duck Dynasty's patriarch Phil Robertson.

It seems that good ol' Phil may have given his A&E handler the slip to do an interview for, if you can believe it, GQ Magazine. It was in this interview that Phil got himself in a little bit of hot water when he decided to voice his real and unscripted opinion on the subjects of  sexuality and race.

Let us look at Duck Dynasty father figure's comments one at a time starting with his beliefs about what he calls "homosexual behavior".

"It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus, That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical."

Later on in the interview Robertson is asked what he "finds sinful" to which he replied...

"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."

GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said of the comments made in the interview "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,"

Ok, we made it through that bit of insanity. Now let's examine Robertson's stunningly insensitive statements about race. According to Phil growing up in the Louisiana backwoods, in the pre-civil rights era, was not all that bad for black people. Remember when you read Robertson's words the time period he is recalling was the 1950s. This was when Jim Crow laws enforced a system of subjugating African-Americans in the South and the cultural climate where he grew up (the Louisiana backwoods) was one of disenfranchisement, segregation and race-inspired violence and murder.

I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

The Human Rights Campaign and the NAACP wrote a joint letter to the president of A&E, expressing deep concern over Robertson's remarks saying...

"We want to be clear why Phil Robertson’s remarks are not just dangerous but also inaccurate. Mr. Robertson claims that, from what he saw, African Americans were happier under Jim Crow. What he didn’t see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street. And his offensive claims about gay people fly in the face of science. In fact, it’s important to note that every single leading medical organization in the country has said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being [lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender] -- it’s not a choice, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous."

Feeling left out, A&E released this statement to Entertainment Weekly:     

We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

Entertainment Weekly added that the rest of the family starring in "Duck Dynasty" will remain on the program.

Since everybody seemed to be releasing a statement the Duck family issued one as well saying:

"As a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of 'Duck Dynasty.'"

Goodbye "Duck Dynasty"... I hardly knew ye... and I'm ok with that.

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