Lots of folks want Phil Robertson’s fuzzy head on plate.
The patriarch behind the hit reality show, “Duck Dynasty,” engaged in what some consider hate speech in a recent interview with GQ magazine. In the article, Robertson shared his opinions and beliefs about topics such as hunting, family, faith, sin and homosexuality. GLAAD, an organization that promotes the image of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the media, was outraged and issued a statement through their spokesperson: “Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors, who now need to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
A&E, the network that airs “Duck Dynasty,” re-examined their ties and responded, “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.”
So what do other media outlets think about Robertson? Check out a few of today’s headlines:
- Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson Spews Anti-Gay Comments in GQ Profile (TV Guide)
- GLAAD Slams ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson for ‘Vile’ Comments About Homosexuality (Hollywood Reporter)
I suspect a little negativity and bias with loaded words like “spews,” “slams,” and “vile.” To its credit, the GQ article was pretty open about its bias and used a good bit of snark and vulgarity throughout the piece to describe Robertson and his beliefs.
We know how the media feel. How do the people feel? Surprisingly, the media outrage has not led to a public stoning of Robertson. The majority of the feedback on social media and news sites has been supportive of his right to express his opinion and disapproval of A&E’s punitive actions against him.
Why the change? Why aren’t the masses calling for Robertson’s head and spewing hate at him? Maybe it’s because we’re tired of the “I don’t like your point of view; therefore, you must be destroyed” tactics that have killed dialogue and made people fearful to speak out.
Maybe it’s because we recognize Phil Robertson doesn’t deserve this. No one does. You may not agree with everything Robertson says, but you can’t deny he’s a guy who turned his life around, sticks to his convictions, supports his family and genuinely loves others enough to share his source of joy with them.
Maybe it’s because most people realize that it’s okay to have an opinion and disagreement doesn’t mean hatred.