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.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths
Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
A simple 57-cent item.
That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.
TextLimit app one more step in cutting down distracted driving
Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in vehicle accidents that involve distracted drivers.
That statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which goes on to say that 69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 reported that they had talked on their cellphone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
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