On Friday, all became right with the world again.
Or at least between the Robertson family and the television network A&E and the millions of fans of the hit reality show “Duck Dynasty.”
On Friday, A&E released the following statement: “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.”
This all came about when the star of the series and Robertson family patriarch said some things in an interview with GQ Magazine that many believed were racist and homophobic.
As far as homosexuality, Phil Robertson said that it seemed to him that a man should be much more attracted to having sex with a woman as opposed to a man.
“That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer,” Robertson is quoted in the article. “I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine,” he added. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
In the same interview, Robertson ruffled some feathers within the black community by denying ever seeing mistreatment of blacks in Louisiana prior to the civil rights movement.
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person,” Robertson told the GQ reporter. “Not once. 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! ... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
When the magazine hit newsstands, the controversy began. In reaction to pressure from civil rights groups and the gay community, A&E announced that Robertson was indefinitely suspended from the series. Other Robertson family members who also appear in the show told reporters they did not see “Duck Dynasty” having any future without Phil.
But the future is looking bright for the average 13.5 million viewers of the A&E series and for the Robertson family, which is worth about $400 million — about half from merchandising opportunities from the “Duck Dynasty” show.
And while the A&E announcement of the lift of Phil’s suspension suggests that there will be public service announcements that air on all stations affiliated with A&E (it is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group), Phil will not bend on the things that he said. He insists that he will not apologize for quoting scripture, as his statements were paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
One Times West Virginian online reader, Thelma, showed her support for the Robertson clan.
“They have walked all over Phil’s First Amendment rights. He has the right to speak his mind and his heart. God bless you, Phil,” Thelma wrote online.
The show goes on. It must. It’s probably going to be a whole heck of a lot more popular after this controversy, too.
And speaking of controversy, we wanted to know just what our readers had to say about the “Duck” debate. Last week, we asked them on our online poll question, which can be found each week at www.timeswv.com. The question was: Phil Robertson was indefinitely suspended from the hit TV show “Duck Dynasty” for comments he made about homosexuality to GQ Magazine. What are your thoughts?
And here’s what you had to say:
• The article sensationalized statements and was intended to make him look foolish — 4.29 percent
• This will all blow over. “Duck Dynasty” is too valuable of a franchise to let go — 7.14 percent
• He has a right to say what he wants, but A&E has the right to let him go — 32.86 percent
• This is a violation of his First Amendment right and an attack of his Christian values — 55.71 percent
So, it appears as if 2014 will be a happy, happy, happy new year for A&E, the Robertsons and their viewers. Oh, and speaking of 2014, let’s talk about your hopes and expectations for the new year this week.
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online.
On Friday, all became right with the world again.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
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