Friday, December 27, 2013

One can't spell "CAVE" without A & E

In the little more than a week since A&E announced it was suspending Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, there was much backlash from the pro-DD crowd. It seemed rather silly that A&E would suspend Robertson for being exactly who they knew him to be -- a Bible believing Christian. Besides, Robertson never conveyed any hate or wished ill will on people who engage in willful sin (regardless of the sin). Nevertheless, A&E caved to what is seemingly becoming an all-powerful, unchecked and above reproach entity -- the LGBT community.

The fact of the matter is had A&E chosen to keep Duck Dynasty on the air, what recourse did the LGBT community and its allies possess? Their fit throwing only would have resulted in more people tuning in to the wildly popular show, resulting in even higher ratings and more lucrative opportunities for show sponsors. The bottom line is the vast majority of the people watching the show hold many of the same values (i.e. unified family, Bible believing, etc.) as the Robertson family. And if show sponsors were scared off upon being threatened with a boycott, you better believe there would be scores of others ready to step up.

Even though the show itself was not going to be put on hiatus, the Robertson family stated they would unlikely be willing to move forward without their family's patriarch (they already had a standing offer from Blaze TV founder Glenn Beck to move to his network).

In light of all that, I can't imagine an entire week went by before A&E realized how much they overreacted. As such, they waved the proverbial white flag on Friday.

As a global media content company, A+E Networks' core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people's homes, and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principles.

That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil's comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the "coarse language" he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would "never incite or encourage hate." We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article and reiterate that they are not views we hold.

But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family … a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.

So 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.

We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.

A&E was so quick to react to the backlash over Phil's GQ interview that they failed to mention the fact he said regardless of who indulges in whatever sin that "we just love 'em..." Seems to me that sufficiently covered the area of never inciting or encouraging hate.

I guess that what makes GLAAD's response to the lifted suspension so absurd.

“Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists. If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A+E has chosen profits over African American and gay people – especially its employees and viewers.”

If GLAAD is not careful, they're soon going to be a detriment to the gay community in the motif of Revs. Jackson and Sharpton to the black community.

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