Prominent conservatives are rushing to the defense of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson after he was suspended from the hit reality show following a GQ interview featuring several anti-gay comments.
On Wednesday, GQ published an interview with the self-proclaimed Bible thumper Robertson, who made several anti-gay remarks, insinuated that African Americans were happier in the pre-civil rights era, and condemned all non-Christian societies as immoral. After the interview went live, Robertson’s statements caused an uproar online, leading “Duck Dynasty” network A&E to suspend Robertson from filming immediately.
Soon after Robertson’s suspension was announced, a host of conservative voices condemned Robertson’s removal, on the basis of free speech and political correctness gone amok. Bobby Jindal, Governor of “Duck Dynasty” home state Louisiana, claimed that Miley Cyrus’ recent actions were much worse than anything Robertson said in the interview.
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended," Jindal wrote in a statement on his website.
Jindal accompanied the post with the following tweet:
I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. http://t.co/IK2fvrqGPn
â€” Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) December 19, 2013
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin also defended Robertson, saying that liberals who judged Robertson’s statements were the truly intolerant ones. Palin then posted a picture of herself on set with the “Duck Dynasty” cast as a show of support.
“Free speech is endangered species; those ‘intolerants’ hatin' & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all
Free speech is endangered species; those "intolerants" hatin' & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all
â€” Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) December 19, 2013
Fox News host Geraldo Rivera also chimed in on Robertson’s suspension, appearing on “Fox and Friends” to say that Robertson is proof political correctness is running out of control in America, Mediaite reports.
“I want to say it’s ridiculous to suspend him over his remarks,” Rivera said. “It’s political correctness that’s gotten malignant,” adding that less than a decade ago, many Americans shared similar prejudice against homosexuals.
Rivera also claimed that Robertson’s suspension could set back the entire civil rights movement.
“A+E over-reaction in suspending Duck Dynasty star will backfire on civil rights movement. We advocates of equality educate not exterminate,” he said.
Suspending Duck Dynasty guy for anti-gay remarks is ridiculous and excessive. It's like suspending someone on South Park or Sponge Bob
â€” Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) December 19, 2013
Rivera’s co-host Steve Dooley agreed, claiming that Robertson “made it clear he was quoting from the Bible” with his antigay views. Robertson did quote from the New Testament book of Corinthians during the interview, but also added on that in considerably more graphic ways.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.