[caption id="attachment_76080" align="aligncenter" width="612"] Phil Robertson fired From Duck Dynasty, Backlash Continues[/caption]A&E's Woes Over Phil Robertson Firing Intensify with Duck Dynasty Family
By firing the star of the reality show "Duck Dynasty", the A&E Network is walking a very fine line between fans and demands from gay rights groups such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Interestingly, the lines aren't drawn squarely between conservatives on one side and gay rights activists on the other.
Noted writer and lesbian Camille Paglia has expressed outrage over the denunciation of Phil Robertson and affirmed his right to express his religious views on homosexuality. Paglia claims the moral right to speak on the matter given that she was openly gay when doing so brought a person adverse consequences. She said that Robertson has a right to express his religious views even if they are against homosexuality.
“I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday.
“In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I one hundred percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there,” she added.
She went on to say that he did so via a magazine interview and to punish him for that is Stalinist.
“To express yourself in a magazine in an interview — this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades,” Paglia said. “This is the whole legacy of free speech 1960’s that have been lost by my own party.”
Now, the Robertson family has made a carefully veiled threat that they are not going to move on without their patriarch. They announced yesterday that they are speaking with A&E about the show's future. A&E grossed $885 million this past year and a large portion of that comes from advertising revenue from "Duck Dynasty".
Duck Dyansty Family Defends Patriarch Phil
Amidst the furor over "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's remarks to GQ, his family has issued a statement defending him. While the statement characterized some of his statements a "coarse", they stated they reflected his deeply held religious beliefs coming from the Bible.
According to eonline.com, the family stated that "Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm." The statement clearly leaves the future of the hugely popular show in jeopardy, since it could not go on without them.
Robertson's comments which state that homosexuality was a sinful behavior and that sex between men was illogical, led to Robertson's suspension from the show. The remarks have ignited a firestorm of argument both for and against Robertson. Both Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin have come to Robertson's defense, while GLAAD and the NAACP have declared their support for Robertson's suspension. So far Phil Robertson himself has not made any statement regarding his suspension from the show.
On The Web:
Palin and Beck add fire to blazing row over Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty
Paglia: Duck Dynasty uproar ‘utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist’
Phil Robertson's Entire Family Stands by Him, Implies Duck Dynasty Can't Continue Unless He Returns