Why ‘Suspending’ Phil Robertson From Duck Dynasty Was A Brilliant, Cynical PR Move

December 19th, 2013 // 170 Comments
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If you’ve logged onto Facebook at some point in the past 12 hours, you’ve probably seen a family member or high school classmate going apeshit that Obama cancelled freedom of speech and personally fired Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty for his anti-gay comments to GQ. Except what really happened is that A&E “suspended” Phil from the show – for a while – which will still be filmed by the rest of the family who apparently don’t have a problem going along with any of this which should’ve been the first red flag to all the Duck Dynasty fans currently being played like a harp from hell. And the next one should’ve been the immediate media firestorm from making Phil a martyr which naturally happened. His popularity among his fanbase couldn’t be higher if she shot a black kid which is one of the benefits of having a target demographic of oblivious zealots who have no fucking clue how freedom of speech works or when their puppet strings are being brilliantly pulled. Case in point:

On that note, let me address some of the pure moron gems coughed up since this whole debacle started:

“WHATEVER HAPPENED TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH?!”

I can’t count how many times I’ve explained this, but I’m going to keep doing it. Was Phil Robertson put in jail or fined by the government? Then his freedom of speech is fully intact. That said, should A&E actually be suspending him for his comments that in no way shape, or form should’ve surprised them, it’s in his contract that they can. A&E is Phil’s private employer, and at some point during negotiations for the show, his lawyers were given a contract that included a clause saying A&E can terminate him at any point if he does anything that negatively affects the network or Duck Dynasty. That is standard, perfectly constitutional procedure, and something Phil agreed to in exchange for $200,000 an episode. And if he suddenly doesn’t agree with those conditions, then he’s a sinner who gave false testimony.

On the other side of that coin, freedom of speech does not mean freedom of criticism. Phil Robertson fully exercised his constitutional right by equating homosexuals with terrorists, and then everyone else fully exercised theirs by going, “Holy shit, that’s fucking ridiculous.” So many depressing times I see conservatives and/or Christians honestly believing that freedom of speech is a magical shield that shuts down everyone else’s constitutional right to disagreement. Learn how the most basic of amendments works before opening your face. That’s not asking a lot.

“Since when did it become okay to persecute Christians?”

Owning someone like property is persecution.
Hanging someone for the color of their skin is persecution.
Using the full weight of the law to beat and attack someone with a firehose is persecution.
Firing, or not hiring, someone for the color of their skin, gender or sexual orientation is persecution.
Telling someone who they cannot speak to, share a bathroom with, date, or marry is persecution.

Having someone disagree with you on the Internet is fucking words on a screen. Christians are still the majority religion in America and still influencing every single level of state, local and federal government. No one’s trying to make laws that throw you in jail for what you do in your bedroom, or denying your partner health benefits or the simple right to visit you in the hospital. Your shit is golden.

“He just gave an honest answer to a question!”

If you actually read the article, at no point did Drew Magary go, “Hey, Phil, what do you think about homosexuals?” Phil Robertson organically broached the subject himself, as he’s clearly done hundreds of times before, in the context of, “Let me tell you what’s wrong with America,” which turned out to be gays having sex with a man’s anus instead of a vagina. It didn’t take any poking or prodding or “gotcha” questions. It was his go-to example for sin destroying America. And if you know anyone like Phil, or who watches this show, this shouldn’t be all that shocking of a turn of events because I guarantee we’ve all been in a situation where a Christian has said, “I’ll tell you where it’s going wrong. Too many gays on TV.”

All that stuff said, let me say for the record that I’m not ruling out the possibility of the entire family bailing on the show, or A&E legitimately suspending Phil because he did make some other choice comments like this one:

So here’s where things get a bit uncomfortable. Phil calls himself a Bible-thumper, and holy shit, he thumps that Bible hard enough to ring the bell at a county-fair test of strength. If you watch Duck Dynasty, you can hear plenty of it in the nondenominational supper-table prayer the family recites at the end of every episode, and in the show’s no-cussing, no-blaspheming tone. But there are more things Phil would like to say—“controversial” things, as he puts it to me—that don’t make the cut. (This March, for instance, he told the Christian-oriented Sports Spectrum magazine that he didn’t approve of A&E editing out “in Jesus” from a family prayer scene, even though A&E says that the phrase has been uttered in at least seventeen episodes.)

And, oh I dunno, this one on pre-civil-rights Louisiana:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Then again, absolutely none of this should surprise A&E who’s filmed four seasons and has waded countless hours upon hours of footage from a man who doesn’t shut up about how this country is going to hell in a handbasket. More importantly, they know the audience will ladel that shit straight into their mouths and go on a buying frenzy at Walmart in “solidarity with Phil.” Because it’s not like A&E gets a cut of the merchandise profit. That’s liberal commie math. Your dollars go straight into Phil’s pockets, so he can preach the Good Word and show ‘Merica some real country livin’. It works exactly like that.

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  1. Bandit

    Holy crap I loved this…I’m going to click every advertisement on this page every day for a month solid as payment for one of the best articles I have read! Thank you!

  2. When they cry persecution that they say is. the secular laws and society of the USA will not let us practice the HARDCORE version of the faith. The version that is anti-science, anti-woman and pro child abuse.

    Why do you think Catholics and Evangelicals are going HARD in Africa? because that is the last place on earth they can be FREE to do this. They are losing the culture war to secularism for last century and probably will not make it to the end of this one. 9/11 and the terrorism of the Islamists is over the same reason, they are losing their cultural supremacy in their own regions as modern technology rapidly spreads western culture and thinking that ir ERODING their dogmatic way of thinking. It was happening to the JEWS 2000 years ago, Jesus died to basically make their GOD relevant again under a occupation of a much larger empire and religion. WHy do you think the hardcore religions are obsessed about this end times stuff. The Apocalypse fantasy is their last hope for supremacy again.

  3. Slash

    BTW, I get all my life advice from guys who look like ZZ Top and wear only camo clothing items.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    I’m sure this “scandal” will blow over soon and the clapping chimps who watch the show will once again be able to guffaw at the exploits of a bunch of redneck actors groomed by the suits at A&E to fulfill every negative stereotype about southerners as if they’re checking them off of a list.

  4. mike Boston

    “they know the audience will ladel that shit straight into their mouths and go on a buying frenzy at Walmart in “solidarity with Phil.” Because it’s not like A&E gets a cut of the merchandise profit. That’s liberal commie math. Your dollars go straight into Phil’s pockets”
    Poorly researched my man. There are two lines of merchandise associated with the show. “Duck Commander,” which is owned by the family, and “Duck Dynasty,” which is owned by A&E. “Duck Dynasty” is sold at Wally Mart, and A&E gets the profits.

  5. this just keeps getting better and better.
    now i heard on the news that sarah palin is standing up for this inbred.

  6. leila

    Fish please NEVER stop explaining Freedom of Speech to these morons who can’t understand the basic principle of say what you want, and in return, I get to say shit right back to you. I keep hearing how liberals are cry babies and weak–but this WAH WAH every time there is a totally foreseeable consequence always confuses me.
    And, I can’t tell if A&E loves the money so much, they encouraged this media blitz, or if everyone who has to work with this asshole just got so sick of him making money, they finally decided to give him enough rope to hang himself with. There is ALWAYS another fame-whoring family out there who is willing to step up to the trough.

  7. leila

    and is it just me, or do others share the desire to the slap the stupid out of the assholes who are genuinely offended by the political discourse and threaten to never come back because fish has momentarily shifted his focus from big tits and asses? what is that?

  8. silveriqua

    ITT: Trolls.

  9. Are You That Zimmerman Fella?

    Holy fuck, Fish! This is probably the best thing you have written in awhile. Well thought out and intelligently written yet humorous. Holy shit. I’m melting,,,,,I’m melting……are you really Carrie Fisher?

  10. Kronaz

    Can’t go a whole post without a Zimmerman reference, huh? We get it, you’re a lefty idiot, you don’t have to drive the point into the ground.

    • He probably thinks it’s just hilarious the way you hemorrhoids will flare up every time he mentions it.

      • Kronaz

        I knew there’d be some mouthbreather who would make the assumption that I’m a right-wing retard. Typical of you braindead sheep, believing there’s only Option A or Option B.
        Some of us are capable of independent thought. Clearly, you are not among those of us who can.

      • Kronaz

        Must be nice to live in such a simple-minded, black and white world. Just close your eyes and mark the box labeled “(D)” when you go to the polls.
        Silly peasant.

  11. JayP

    “Stop being intolerant of our intolerance!”

  12. Hari

    you write with too many run on sentences and elaborate metaphors. Hard to follow

  13. thecrazybetty

    whoever wrote this nonsense liberal agenda article, sounds like a faggot.

  14. ya because sticking your penis in another man’s ass is normal ooo wait i was born this way lol

  15. Hicktards, All of You

    I dunno why gays are so pissed off about what a duck call maker says about their spiritual health anyway. Do they think when they get to heaven, his scraggly old ass is gonna be standing there at the pearly gates checking their hetero ID’s or something? WTF?

    The Duck Commander says we aren’t goin to heaven, boooo hoo! Who gives a shit what he says, he can’t even be bothered to fuckin shave for Gillette’s sake! For a bunch of dudes who take it up the ass without crying, they sure some whiny gaybies.

  16. Mama Pinkus

    a pox on all you stupid assholes who think Duck Dynasty is real – you are contributing to the downfall of America

  17. D-chi

    Hey, as one of the few actual Christians who comes around here (what, it’s my guilty pleasure), when I first heard about this story I was like eh, what’s this about? And now reading the comments that Phil made, I’m experiencing critical facepalm mass. It’s like watching a train wreck. Just letting you all know that some of us try to be open-minded and love on people rather than just judge them! This dude is clearly in the midst of a well-planned publicity stunt, but he really should’ve…. not said those things. Because wow, no.

  18. Scarlet Faylor

    Would someone be shocked to see this was all a big program to raise buzz about the show and income of mechandise? Since the suspension, income BOOMED and speculate who gets the volume of those profits — yes, A&E. After all, there is no such thing as bad PR.

    http://www.bring-back-phil.com

  19. Mayday

    I think A&E realized what an asshole this guy was and orchestrated this article with GQ so they could have justification to can his ass.

  20. George

    The beauty of the way thought policing works in the USA, because the Constitution won’t allow imprisonment, is that hysterical Bolshevists can get their feelings hurt by whatever subjectively hurts their feelings then the full weight of the political correctness establishment falls on anybody who disagrees with the atheistic, socially destructive, morally relativistic party line. The author of this piece has his panties in such a twist he can’t resist name calling and demonstrating his own anti-Christian bigotry.

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