Free-speech defenders are up in arms over the recent controversy after Phil Robertson, star of the A&E network’s hit show Duck Dynasty, was suspended indefinitely after he made anti-homosexual remarks during a GQ Magazine interview. Duck Dynasty follows the Robertson family, who struck gold after they created and mass marketed the duck call whistle for hunting.
The comments, although distasteful and intolerant, tell us more about the messenger than they do about the message. As a culture, we take what we hear, see and read to make decisions based on our own assessments. The First Amendment not only protects the speaker, but The First Amendment not only protects the speaker, but enlightens the listener. If Phil Robertson’s speech was curtailed and he was forced to be politically correct, then the public might not know of his conservative stance on issues pertaining to the gay community. We can now take his comments and, using our own judgment, choose to watch or not watch his television show and to buy or protest his products. So many people are upset about his words, but the statements just give us, as consumers, more opportunity to decide ourselves about Phil Robertson. A&E had every right to act as it did. Now it is up to any who wish, from all sides of the political spectrum, to judge A&E as they fit, for their actions.