My family really likes the show…they consider it quite hilarious. Apparently, so do other members of my extended family.
Myself? Never watched it…until -coincidentally enough- over the past weekend when I was “treated” to two Christmas themed episodes (I was a captive audience).
The fact that I put the word treated in quotes -and noted I was a captive audience- should clue you in to my ultimate feelings about what I saw. I won’t deny there was some humor to be had in a couple of scenes, but for two hours of watching, I found the whole thing to be a chore. Later, I was told these episodes were pretty mediocre compared to some of the better episodes of the show, but when -really if– I ever find the time to see them, I’ll judge for myself. Just don’t count on it.
Anyway, a couple of days after seeing the show for the first (and very likely the last) time, came the controversial (to say the least) statements of the show’s patriarch, Phil Robertson regarding homosexuality and, we’re now learning, race. His comments have earned him a suspension from his own show, and naturally his family have come to his defense as have, apparently, the show’s very many fans…
What struck me about the article was the following quote which was part of a statement released by the Robertson family on Phil’s behalf:
We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.
I’m a VERY big proponent of the First Amendment. I very much believe in the Freedom of Speech. But what many people who find themselves in trouble for the stupid things they say don’t realize is that Freedom of Speech goes both ways. You certainly are free to state whatever opinions or ideas you have, even if these ideas are arguably hateful and/or downright stupid.
HOWEVER, others have the same Freedom of Speech to express their opinions regarding your speech: That they feel what you have said amounts to hateful or ignorant comments.
In this case A&E, the television company airing Duck Dynasty, has every right to be bothered (the kindest word I could think of) by Mr. Robertson’s statements, even if the family feels the statements he made are “his beliefs…grounded in the teachings of the Bible“.
I can’t help but wonder where this will go. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for it, Duck Dynasty is a very popular show. Will A&E drop it? Will the Robertson family force it to do just that? If so, will there be another network out there that will take it (Spoiler: I suspect so).