Why I Think A&E is Unfairly Punishing Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson for His Anti-Gay Remarks
[Editor's Note: BlogHer is nonpartisan, but our members have a variety of opinions. For another viewpoint on Phil Robertson's suspension, read Only-Mama's post I'm Against Homophobia, But Support Free Speech.]
What is A&E up to? They surely knew Phil Robertson's stance on issues well before they heard about his feelings about homosexuality in the GQ interview. They're a large network and certainly they vetted the Robertsons long before their first episode aired.
So why all the outrage and shock that they seem to be expressing? I read the interview as did almost everyone by now. Anyone who watches Duck Dynasty is well aware that Phil does not pull any punches. While I don't find him vulgar at all, I do find him refreshingly blunt. We need more folks who are willing to say what they believe with conviction and without fear or worry of what others might think about it.
Sure, Phil used a couple of words that no doubt were a little surprising to hear or read in an interview, but he was asked a question and he answered it quite honestly. He simply and purely did not understand how a man prefers a man when women have so much more to offer, he said (albeit using a few more anatomically correct words). Phil's words from the GQ interview:
“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.”
But the bigger controversy here, in my opinion, has nothing to do with what Phil actually said. The bigger controversy and travesty is that A&E has scolded Phil and put him in a "timeout" for doing exactly what they found so enticing about him in the first place… he says what he believes and why. Was Phil only supposed to answer the questions if they jived exactly with that A&E feels is acceptable and popular? He didn't make any hateful remarks. He stated what the Bible says about it and gave his personal thoughts, none of which were "inflammatory."
Seriously, "inflammatory"?? People cry they want to be accepted and tolerated and that's all good and well until those same people refuse to be accepting and tolerant of those who express a belief that differs from their own. Why, oh why is it okay to tout one's beliefs and express outrage when someone else isn't supportive of it? Can't we be grownups about it? I'm quite sure not every person would agree with the way I parent or how I dress or what I say, and that's fine with me. I don't need their approval. But likewise, just because a person may not feel the same way I do and may not believe the same way I do, does not mean I hate this person or in any way feel disdain. I have many friends of varying lifestyles and belief systems. Notice: I said FRIENDS! Yes, we're friends! We can disagree and still be friends.
I don't interview my potential friends and associates with a barrage of questions before deciding if we indeed will be friends. If I find out a friend or family member is gay, I don't back up and run. If their beliefs vary, they are entitled to them and won't get persecution from me, but I highly expect the same treatment from them in return. I choose my friends based on criteria such as if they're funny, are they good, honest, upstanding people, if we get along and click. Phil Robertson is funny. He is good and honest and by far, upstanding, and I'm pretty sure, if given the chance to be in his company, we'd get along and click. Don't be squelched, Phil. Keep on keeping on. I support you and all your kin.