Free Speech and a Duck Call

The internet is in a right kerfluffle with news of a character from a popular A&E show getting the boot from…well, his own show.

Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” decided to let the world know that homosexuals are all sinners and are going directly to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. That’s me paraphrasing, by the way–but it is, in essence, the crux of his statement.

I, for one, am floored that an overtly religious (Baptist Christian), deep southern, white male could have any sort of sentiments that could be interpreted as anti-gay.

Just kidding, you guys. OBVI.

There are many people (of course) coming to his defense, pointing out that the man has a right to freedom of speech because this is AMMURRICA, dammit!

And I agree–it is true that Phil has a right to “Freedom of Speech”–which only extends so far as not being prosecuted by the government.

As far as I can tell, he isn’t holed up in a federal or state prison (watching his show on the cable TV provided by my tax dollars when even I can’t afford cable) for his comments–he’s probably straight chillin’ at the family homestead surrounded by boxes of duck calls and his numerous animals.

A&E, on the other hand, has every right to put him on “hiatus”. This is a cable channel that openly supports LGBT causes–it’s one that’s attempted to make this down home, back woods family palatable to the entire country. It’s a cash cow, more or less, and the minute you do something to offend what could be a large population of viewers, that’s when they crack down.

Take, for instance, the ever multiplying Duggar brood–19 kids and an affinity for conservative politics and Baptist Christian teachings. It’s inferred by the gentle viewer that these people are very much anti-gay.

But do you see TLC broadcasting that fact?

NO! Because pushing that sort of agenda on a widely viewed television audience narrows the numbers and the ratings plummet. In recent years, they’ve become outspoken about their anti-abortion stance and it has certainly chinked away at the armor of what once was TLC’s most popular show.

So when A&E asks the Robertsons to keep those opinions out of the public limelight, when they ask them to finish their nightly prayer with “God” as opposed to “Jesus”–it’s because they’re trying to make the audience of the show bigger.

That’s A&E’s job, you guys. The network is nothing without an audience.

This man has a right to his opinion, but he doesn’t have the right to jeopardize the network’s ratings.

So I would posit that the next step for the Robertson clan is to decide whether evangelizing takes precedence over the money they’re dragging in in barrels from their SCRIPTED television show (yes, ladies and gents, if you couldn’t tell from the bad acting, the situations in that show are all fake).

Something tells me that the show will go on because piles of money are obviously very important to this bunch (why else would one have an intrusive television show follow around your family if you’re already “self-made billionaires”?).



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