The Times West Virginian


December 29, 2013

Phil Robertson ‘has the right to speak his mind’

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 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.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor


Text Only
  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • 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.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • 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.

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads