By Emma Barhoumi
Recently, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was suspended from the hit A&E show due to controversial homophobic comments he made in an interview.
While being interviewed for GQ magazine, Phil Robertson was asked what he believed to be sinful, and responded, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
As a very religious and devout Christian, Phil was raised in Louisiana in a time period where gays were not accepted in the community. Due to his strong religious beliefs against homosexuality, it is not surprising that he spoke his opinion on the subject when asked in an in an interview.
On the other hand, he is a celebrity and he knows that over 11 million people are watching. He is entitled to his own opinion, but when he spoke harshly about gays in the interview, he should have known the network would be upset and people might be offended.
I believe A&E made a spur of the moment decision. When word got out about the comments Phil made in the interview, the network immediately suspended him. This bold move caused a fanbase uproar that A&E needed to reverse. Was the decision to suspend Phil a mistake that would hurt the reputation of one television’s top reality shows?
Since he is a person who is constantly in the public eye, I do not think it was the right place or time to express his personal beliefs on homosexuality. It isn’t good publicity for the network, the show, or the Robertson family. I know that people do have a right to freedom of speech, but people should consider others when publicly speaking about sensitive topics.
After many Duck Dynasty fans spoke their opinions on whether it was the right thing to do or not, the network revised its decision. They reinstated Phil Robertson into the show and stated filming would resume in spring. During the short time Phil was suspended, he did not miss any filming time for the show. Although he is now back on the cast of Duck Dynasty, Phil never apologized for his comments.
Phil Robertson created the duck call in 1972, inspiring the family-owned multi-million dollar business later started by his son, Willie. The reality show highlights the lives of Phil and his wife Kay, their three sons Jase, Willie, and Jep, along with their families, and Phil’s brother Si, in the backwoods of Louisiana.