By: Marilyn Assenheim
A & E decided, after petitions from the organization Faith Driven Consumers exceeded their goal of 200,000 signatures (they surpassed 250,000 signatures), that they would not the kill the duck that produced their golden egg after all. Not a very surprising stand-down considering that A & E never intended to jettison Phil Robertson in the first place.
Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Robertson clan, was put on “indefinite suspension” in a fit of politically correct pique by A & E because of responses he had given during an interview with GQ Magazine. A & E, mouthpiece for all things leftist, was not satisfied to simply state that Mr. Robertson’s religiously-based views did not reflect their own; they acted, instead, supporting the ravings of GLAAD, gay activist police, eager to force America to accept gay policy against slights real or imagined. A & E declared that Mr. Robertson was no longer welcome on Duck Dynasty, the program that, literally, made their fortune. To A & E’s shock and chagrin, however, there was an unexpected backlash from across an infuriated nation. America, which has not previously made significant inroads against such outrages as Obamacare, fought back this time. And we fought back hard.
The first significant crack in the PC wall occurred when retailer Cracker Barrel admitted they had “made a mistake” when they sought to strip Duck Dynasty items from their stores. Cracker Barrel claimed their reasoning was to “please (their) customers.” Although they have retail presence nationally, Cracker Barrel is predominantly based in the south. Which customers, precisely, did they imagine their bone-headed decision would please? Wal-Mart, could not keep Duck Dynasty products on their shelves; enraged Americans, nationwide, rushed to purchase Duck Dynasty merchandise to show their solidarity with the Robertsons.
The Hollywood Reporter, in typical, liberal fashion, ignored A & E’s embarrassing retreat. Instead, their headline blared “A & E Welcomes Phil Robertson Back to Duck Dynasty”. A & E “Welcomes Phil Robertson Back?” He wasn’t taking a voluntary vacation. A & E compounded their non- apologetic apology. Instead of shamefacedly acknowledging their transparent foolishness, A & E continued to flog their self-righteous fairy tale to The Hollywood Reporter: “… A+E Networks’ core values are centered around… inclusion and mutual respect…That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson…We at A+E Network …reiterate that (Robertson’s statements) are not views we hold. But Duck Dynasty…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.”
Whatever A & E thought to accomplish by banning the Robertson patriarch, the truth is that the entire upcoming season of Duck Dynasty was already “in the can.” A & E waved their paper tiger in everyone’s face stating that any episodes with Phil Robertson already in them were going to be aired. A & E never had any intention of putting Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus. Particularly after the Robertson clan stated that they would not be going on without Phil. If nothing else, A & E knows who butters their one-trick pony bread.
The Robertson’s views are based on a credo that originated with Phil. Phil’s Robertson’s religious views permeate everything and are the glue that binds their family together. This is what resonates with an America that is clearly starving for the Robertson’s example. An example, A & E fails to point out, they have unsuccessfully tried to force the Robertson family to suppress from the very beginning.
A & E wanted America to laugh at the Robertsons. Instead, America respects the Robertsons and is laughing with them. Hopefully, A & E’s unintended result will catch on in other areas.