Well, anyone who didn’t see this coming was clearly fooling themselves. It seems the “indefinite” suspension A&E handed down to Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson lasted — less than a week. But is anyone really surprised?
Most of the people who watch Duck Dynasty — and buy all the crap that goes along with it — don’t exactly fall within the typical “liberal demographics.” A&E is a business, Duck Dynasty is great for business, and they caved.
Sure, they did the good PR move and instantly suspended him once his comments went public, but ending his suspension was inevitable. The “suspension” was nothing more than a reaction to buy themselves some time to see what would be the best business decision to make. Obviously they had to pretend to care about his comments to protect themselves publicly, but it was clear from the start that the popularity of Duck Dynasty would ultimately win out.
Here, take a look:
As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
But “Duck Dynasty” is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.
So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming “Duck Dynasty” later this spring with the entire Robertson family.
We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in “Duck Dynasty.” These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.
In other words, “The show makes us a ton of money. Did you really think we were going to risk losing that?”
I particularly loved how A&E included the part about him saying he would “never incite or encourage hate.” No, he would just imply that two people loving each other could lead to bestiality, and then lumped homosexuals in with terrorists. Oh, and let’s not forget his statement claiming African-Americans had better lives before the Civil Rights Act.
Call me crazy, but telling two people who are deeply in love with each other that they will be judged by God the same way as a terrorist, or that accepting their relationship could lead to sex with animals — that’s not exactly what I would classify as “discouraging hate.”
Then the part about the family coming together to pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. Please. How exactly does one seek to unite people with the comments made by Robertson? Telling millions of people that they’ll be judged by God the same way as mass murdering terrorists and their relationships are immoral acts that could lead to bestiality isn’t the kind of language that unites people.
Then there’s the kicker: “So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming “Duck Dynasty” later this spring with the entire Robertson family.”
I’ll go ahead and translate that one as well. After A&E met with the Robertson family and they told them that they would all walk if Phil Robertson wasn’t allowed to be on the show, A&E caved to the family’s demands and reinstated Phil.
But again, A&E’s actions should come as no surprise to anyone.
After all, this is a network that features shows such as Rodeo Girls, Storage Wars, American Hoggers and of course Duck Dynasty. Not exactly the top of the food chain as far as quality, informative entertainment is concerned.