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News & Politics News & Politics

'Duck Dynasty' Star Phil Robertson Also Under Fire for African-American Statements

Posted by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:17 PM
  • 70 Replies

 

'Duck Dynasty' Star Phil Robertson Also Under Fire for African-American Statements

  Phil Robertson's anti-gay comments aren't the only part of his interview with GQ causing controversy.  

The 67-year-old "Duck Dynasty" star was suspended by A&E Wednesday for calling homosexuality sinful - and putting gay people in same category as terrorists. While those quotes quickly went viral, it wasn't his only brow-raising statement in the interview; he also implied that African Americans were happier living under Jim Crow laws.

"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once," the reality star said of growing up in pre-Civil-Rights-era Louisiana. "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!"

Robertson continued, "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."

Needless to say, that hasn't gone over well either. A spokesperson for the NAACP shared a copy of the letter that they, along with the Human Rights Campaign, sent to "Duck Dynasty" network A&E. In addition to asking for the network to "denounce and repudiate Robertson's comments," they demanded that Robertson "apologizes for his vitriolic comments."

"We want to be clear why Phil Robertson's remarks are not just dangerous but also inaccurate," the letter stated, in part. "Mr. Robertson claims that, from what he saw, African Americans were happier under Jim Crow. What he didn't see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street."

Noting that the remarks "go beyond being outlandishly inaccurate and offensive" and are actually "dangerous and revisionist, appealing to those in our society who wish to repeat patterns of discrimination," the letter said Robertson's "words show an unbridled lack of respect for African Americans and LGBT people, and the ongoing challenges members of our communities continue to experience on a daily basis."

"Surely a brand like A&E does not want to be associated with such racist and homophobic remarks," it concluded.

Robertson's remarks about African Americans could ultimately be more damaging in the longterm than what he said about homosexuals, according to one expert.

"Racial comments are often career killers - as are scandals involving children and animals," David E. Johnson, who is the CEO of public relations and branding agency Strategic Vision, tells Yahoo TV. "Yet, looking at the demographics who are attracted to 'Duck Dynasty,' we see an older, more conservative, and evangelical audience. These people will take the comments with a grain of salt. This is because Phil Robertson and the 'Duck Dynasty' brand is one that is viewed as politically incorrect and says what is on their mind. So, in that light, the comments are unlikely to do damage - unless African Americans begin emerging and demonstrating he has discriminated against [them]."

However, "Barring that, overall, his comments and the controversy has in all likelihood strengthened the brand," adds Johnson.

On Wednesday night, the cable network did denounce the "Duck Dynasty" patriarch. In addition to suspending him indefinitely from filming, they said in a statement, "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series 'Duck Dynasty.' His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

Earlier in the day, Robertson clarified his words - though he didn't come close to apologizing.

"I myself am a product of the '60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior," the TV star said in a statement. "My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."

Not everyone is offended by Robertson's statements. A petition called IStandWithPhil.com was launched by a group called Faith Driven Consumer and calls for A&E to reinstate Robertson - and apologize to the "Duck Dynasty" watchers who share the TV's star's beliefs.

"Mr. Robertson's comments in GQ magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family - a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today's world as a whole," it says on the site. "While the LGBT community may be offended by his opposing viewpoint, your rash, discriminatory, and unfair treatment toward Mr. Robertson - a recognized symbol of the faith community - is a slap in the face to Faith Driven Consumers and everyday Americans alike."

Needless to say, this controversy won't be dying down anytime soon.

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Phil Robertson (A&E)

by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
pamelax3
by Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:21 PM
5 moms liked this

Once again it is his opinion and what he observed growing up..

Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I didn't see it so it never happened???? Well now that is stepping in it.

PrimmednPunked
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:41 PM
3 moms liked this

 "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."


Of course they seemed happy.  Down south if a black man complained or spoke out there was one answer he was given.  That answer was found at the end of a rope.


MomTiara19
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:51 PM

I knew black people would get dragged into this eventually...we always do.....lol..

I just love it when a non black person interprets how black people are treated.Phil makes alot of assumptions about black people in this article.

All I can say is I really think he is harmless,but put his foot into his mouth.

Just because we have freedom of speech.... doesnt mean we should spew out everything and anything on the tip of our tongue.

We shouldnt use freedom of speech as verbal abuse or an attack on a group of people.Christianity should have taught him some kind of manners.

Forget about Jim Crow.He is going to have to eat his own crow. now..lol..

Words have consequences.

Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Not if you are Christian? They are forgiven? Right?

Quoting MomTiara19:

I knew black people would get dragged into this eventually...we always do.....lol..

I just love it when a non black person interprets how black people are treated.Phil makes alot of assumptions about black people in this article.

All I can say is I really think he is harmless,but put his foot into his mouth.

Just because we have freedom of speech.... doesnt mean we should spew out everything and anything on the tip of our tongue.

We shouldnt use freedom of speech as verbal abuse or an attack on a group of people.Christianity should have taught him some kind of manners.

Forget about Jim Crow.He is going to have to eat his own crow. now..lol..

Words have consequences.


PrimmednPunked
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 6:20 PM

But it is just his opinion and he has every right to his opinion no matter how wrong it is and how it completely misrepresents that time period.

Quoting MomTiara19:

I knew black people would get dragged into this eventually...we always do.....lol..

I just love it when a non black person interprets how black people are treated.Phil makes alot of assumptions about black people in this article.

All I can say is I really think he is harmless,but put his foot into his mouth.

Just because we have freedom of speech.... doesnt mean we should spew out everything and anything on the tip of our tongue.

We shouldnt use freedom of speech as verbal abuse or an attack on a group of people.Christianity should have taught him some kind of manners.

Forget about Jim Crow.He is going to have to eat his own crow. now..lol..

Words have consequences.


grambo91
by New Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM
This.

Quoting pamelax3:

Once again it is his opinion and what he observed growing up..

JanuaryBaby06
by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 7:18 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes, this is his opinion, his observations, his 'experiences' & he is more then entitled to them. That being said, should he have shared these views on national TV? Probably not. WHile he is entitled to his opinion on these issues everyone else is entitled to their own opinions about his statements & people will make up their own judements based on what he said.  :/

PamR
by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM
2 moms liked this

I completely support his right to express his opinions and to accept the consequences of it.

StephanieSH
by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 7:46 PM
1 mom liked this
His statements just sound really ignorant. He probably doesn't know that much about history. Even the history he lived through.
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