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Is ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Roberston’s Suspension From the Show Fair? Jon Says Yes

Phil Robertson
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

The big news today is the suspension of ‘Duck Dynasty’ patriarch Phil Robertson for Anti-Gay comments Robertson made in a GQ Magazine interview. As you can imagine, reaction to the comments by the Gay and Lesbian community was immediate and strong. Fan reaction to Robertson’s suspension was equally swift and strong. One one hand, some people feel the suspension was justified and the comments totally wrong and inappropriate, while others feel like Robertson is entitled to his opinions and is equally entitled to voice those opinions.

Executives at the A&E network, the home of ‘Duck Dynasty’, felt it was necessary to suspend Robertson indefinitely for his comments and they made clear that Robertson’s comments in no way represent the views of A&E, as you would expect. Fans of the show remain outraged by the suspension, calling it completely unfair because he is entitled to his opinions.

Here is what we tend to forget about free speech. While free speech is guaranteed under the First Amendment, free speech can and often does carry potentially serious consequences. Phil Robertson DOES have the right to express his opinions if he so chooses, and A&E DOES have the right to levy consequences on Robertson for those comments for the same reason thus, making the suspension fair.

Just because someone disagrees with an opinion doesn’t mean the opinion can’t be expressed in a public forum. The Gay and Lesbian community has every right to be outraged by Robertson’s comments and A&E has every right to sanction Robertson for those comments and that line should not in any way be blurry.

We can say whatever we want, but we also have to be willing to accept the consequences of what we say because there will be consequences either good or bad.

The bottom line in this example is that everyone in this particular instance is within their rights including Robertson, A&E and those offended by the comments. Why is that so hard to understand?

The people saying the suspension IS unfair are wrong because they are not in a position to judge the fairness of that act, only A&E is in a position to judge the fairness of the suspension. They can BELIEVE the suspension to be unfair, but to say it IS unfair is just an opinion and not a matter of fact and the same goes for those who say the suspension does not go far enough.

Phil Robertson, while I disagree with his opinion, has the right to that opinion and I am in no position to judge him for that. All I can do is disagree. A&E has the right to suspend him form THEIR air and others have the right to be outraged by those opinions….it is as simple as that, so let’s just move on. With great power comes great responsibility and free speech is great power. What do you think?


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