The Duck Dynasty Flapdoodle
Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson's recent comments on homosexuality and A&E's reaction to the patriarch's remarks reveals that nothing is free of politicization.
More importantly, there are a couple of issues the flapdoodle illustrates.
One is that free speech is not free unless people have the right to say things that might offend others. Certainly Robertson was outmatched by Martin Bashir, who thought Sarah Palin should be subjected to having someone defecate in her mouth for suggesting debt equals servitude. The Dynasty TV star may have been crude, but certainly he has the right to express his private religious opinion without fear of losing his job.
Think about this: "Duck Dynasty" was taken on by A&E for one express purpose and that was to make money. The show was wildly popular, reaching up to 14 million viewers. It turned out millions of Americans loved the Robertson family and A&E loved the money.
But A&E constantly jiggered with the format. The producers didn't like the mention of God or Jesus Christ. They didn't like the prayers at the end of the show. They didn't like that fact the family didn't cuss, and even added bleeps to indicate falsely that they did.
They didn't like this; and they didn't like that. They wanted this; and they didn't want that.
But they loved the money.
It's reasonable to suspect the producers never thought the public would love the Robertson clan as they are and for what they represent. There's a huge audience out there who like the values the Robertson family holds to. Frankly it's my suspicion A&E wanted to present the family stereotypically, as yet another Honey Boo-boo clan, who are presented as a bunch of ignorant genetically regressive Deliverance types who live openly with pigs.
But it didn't quite work out that way. Surprise, surprise.
In the meantime, while the flapdoodle continues, here's some advice for the Robertson family:
Yes, quit-all of you.
Some other, less politically correct producers will be happy to endorse and run your show.
You don't have to put up with this stuff.
Nor do any of us.
Fay Voshell may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org