A&E Networks suspended patriarch Phil Robertson from the hit show Duck Dynasty after he made disparaging remarks about gays during a magazine interview. The show follows Robertson and his deeply religious and close-knit extended Southern family, and his remarks were based on his religious views. Are his opinions too sensitive for a TV show, or should they be included in the “reality” it depicts?
[Editor’s note: A&E said Friday Robertson will be on the show when production resumes in the spring]
I think that the lesson to be learned is that needless negativity begets negativity.
— Bill Weldon, Arlington
If this kind of controversy continues the media and entertainment industry will be censoring everyone’s speech who disagrees with them. The “political correctness” crowd seems to think that only their opinions are valid and everyone else should adhere to their standards or shut up.
— Clista Hancock, Arlington
If stating a belief in scriptures is hate speech, then surely reading such scriptures from a pulpit should be punished, even reading these offensive passages in the privacy of your own home ought not be tolerated. Come to think of it, that such literature exists at all should offend any right-thinking person. Maybe a good old-fashioned book burning is in order, or at the very least some politically correct editing is required.
Taking offense is your right, imposing that offense on others is not.
— Jerry Treber, Fort Worth
Whether anyone agrees with him or not, he should be able to state his beliefs or even his opinions as should we all. Our country has turned so politically correct that everyone is offended over every little thing and people have to apologize for their own opinion.
If people don’t like what he said or share his beliefs, then don’t watch the show! We are letting certain groups take over our country and that should not be the case.
— Kelli Worfford, Grapevine
Just because Robertson has a so-called reality show does not mean he can say anything he wants to willy-nilly in public and not have to face certain personal consequences in private. He has not been jailed for his views. Robertson’s right of free speech has not been compromised.
One thing I can certainly say is that the man has no sense of tact.
— John David Martin, Fort Worth
My company would discipline and censure me if I said similar things.
To compare acts of seeking love and self-expression — whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender — with bestiality is ignorant and mean-spirited. I hope the words of Jesus, recently echoed by Pope Francis, will supplant Robertson’s: “Who am I to judge?”
— Earl Johnson, Fort Worth
The TV networks prefer to air amoral behaviors in their “reality” and series programming and call it normal. Then when someone stands for what he believes in and calls these behaviors sin, he is chastised, slurred, demeaned and punished. The Christian community needs to not only wake up but to speak up.
— David Clark, Weatherford
Phil Robertson did not make disparaging remarks about gays. He answered a question as to how he personally believes.
He is a straight Christian male. That is his right. He has a right to be straight and not necessarily think that being gay is OK. He has the right to say it.
— Jeannie King, Bedford
Robertson has the right to say what he wishes. A&E has the right to run their business the way they see fit. No problem.
— Ronald P. Cantrell, Keller
I’ve had jobs where I had to rein my opinions in because I represented larger organizations with differing goals and/or aims. Apparently Robertson didn’t know or didn’t care about that. Again that is his right. It isn’t political correctness to be dismissed for possibly offending “customers,” it’s a business decision.
— Robert Turk, Fort Worth
A&E manufactured this controversy when they designed this show. They wanted “redneck” characters for people to laugh at. Be careful what you ask for!
— Buck Allbright, Fort Worth
Our founders believed that a marketplace of ideas was ultimately beneficial to society.
Oh, I get it. We can express any ideas we want, except to state the biblical view on homosexuality.
— Thomas F. Harkins Jr.,
Sensitive sponsors of A&E don’t approve of Phil’s “gays are gross” attitude, but the charm of the show is that we can feel superior to this funny-looking family. Phil even quoted the Bible! Now we can laugh at God, his Word, our sin, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for that sin. We are more sensitive than God, smarter too! Except we die…
— Larry Lommel, Arlington
His remarks were totally insensitive. Just because we have the right in this country to say anything we want does not mean that it is always right to say anything we want.
— Sandra Morris, Arlington
This is not a First Amendment issue. It is an issue about the lack of empathy, compassion and understanding that many self-described “Christians” display toward those different from themselves.
— Larry Pimentel, Fort Worth
Phil Robertson’s interview wasn’t controversial; it was the reporter’s intent to get the reaction the story generated as a direct result of the reporter asking him a personal opinion of sinful behavior.
Anyone who watches Duck Dynasty is well versed on Robertson’s beliefs, personal and biblical, and he shouldn’t be fired for adhering to those principles.
No one is mandated to watch.
— Delores Cantrell, Fort Worth
The moral to this story is don’t grant interviews, because some reporter will only distort the commentary and sensationalize half-facts with the full intention of discrediting the subject interviewed.
Robertson’s opinions are not too sensitive for a TV show!
— Sharon Ream, Fort Worth
For A&E to “fire” Phil Robertson for quoting the Bible is the same as “firing” God for His teachings.
— Bill Mahanay, Burleson
He not only attacked gays but also belittled African-Americans. If he is a religious person, then it is a religion of hatred.
— Kay Fulgham, Fort Worth
I wonder if Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, etc. would be rallying to the cause if it was an atheist who was spouting beliefs that got him or her bounced off their reality show. Not a remote chance.
— Frank Matthews, Fort Worth
Duck Dynasty is one of the few programs that is acceptable for family viewing. Each show ends with Phil saying grace over the meal and emphasis on family values. I don’t think that is too controversial.
— Bonnie Stokes, Granbury
Too many corporations, entities and governments are reluctant to take a stand for what constitutes the moral right. Instead, a middle road approach seems to garner more people for profit or votes. Moralists who adhere to their standards are often persecuted.
— Grady Fuller, Kennedale
I feel it is perfectly correct for someone to state that they do not believe in or support someone or something because of their religious beliefs. I do not feel that that gives the individual the right to ridicule or belittle that group or individual even if they do it from a religious, God-fearing point of view. Robertson went too far.
— Robert Parker, Fort Worth
Who did A&E think they were getting when they based a show around a bunch of backwoods Southerners, ACLU atheists? It’s hypocritical for them to act surprised. They love rednecks until they actually say what rednecks believe.
— George Michael Sherry,
His opinions are not too sensitive to be heard on the A&E show or otherwise. If his opinions are, then so are the actions and opinions of every single other reality show “celebrity” on air. That is what the reality in “reality television” means.
— Rachel McCasland, Keller
It’s supposed to be a reality show. A&E should have the guts to sanction reality.
— John Gregory, Richland Hills
You can’t defend a statement like sin begins with homosexuals “and morphs” from there into other sexual sins. This is not a religious based statement.
Being 67 years old does not give Phil the right to go against his employer’s wishes.
— Wayne Cobb, Mansfield
Until tolerance and respect are a two-way street, this division in our country will never heal.
— Louise Shepherd, Fort Worth