December 19th, 2013
12:18 PM ET
1 year ago

Palin, Cruz, Jindal: 'Duck Dynasty' star suspended over intolerance of politically correct

Updated 4:17 p.m., 12/19/2013

(CNN) - In light of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson suspension from the show over anti-gay remarks, Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal indicated media outlets have thrown out the First Amendment and the "politically correct crowd" is only concerned with viewpoints they agree with.

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Alaska governor and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin also weighed in on TV reality star's forced leave from the series.

Palin wrote in a post to her Facebook page that "Free speech is an endangered species."

"Those 'intolerants' hatin' and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us," Palin, who met the series' cast while on a book tour in Louisiana, wrote on Facebook, along with a photo of her and the cast of the A&E series.

Sarah Palin meets 'Duck Dynasty' 'dudes'

Cruz, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, also defended Robertson in a post to his Facebook page titled: "Free Speech Matters"

"The reason that so many Americans love Duck Dynasty is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: a family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith," Cruz said.

"Duck Dynasty" is about a family-run duck call fabrication business in Louisiana. Robertson is the patriarch of the family. Season 5 is set to premiere on January 15.

Jindal - who is term-limited as governor and considering a 2016 GOP bid for the White House - praised Robertson and his family as "great citizens of the State of Louisiana."

"The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with," Jindal said in a statement.

Jindal goes on to say that while he doesn't agree with everything he reads or sees in the media, First Amendment rights to freedom of speech should be upheld consistently across popular culture.

"In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment," he said. "It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."

A&E suspended Robertson after comments he made to GQ in their January issue of their magazine that homosexuality is a sin and puts it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. He also made controversial comments about race relations during his time growing up in the South.

Groups like NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign wrote a joint letter to the president of the network calling for the TV star to step down.

"We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty," the network said in a statement Wednesday.

Robertson's suspension has prompted outrage among fans and calls for the network to bring the star back.

Former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said A&E's decision is "insulting" to Americans who hold similar beliefs.

"For this network to toss Phil Robertson off of TV because he believed something and said what he believed, this network is insulting and snobbing the millions of Americans who hold the same view, albeit perhaps expressed in less graphic terms."

Ralph Reed, chairman of the conservative group Faith and Freedom Coalition, called the suspension "a brazen act of anti-Christian bigotry."

“To suspend Robertson under these circumstances is sanctioning him for holding Christian faith and beliefs, and it is a sign of a broader intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination against Christians that has no place in America," Reed said.

Nearly 40,000 people have signed a Change.org petition as of Thursday morning rallying support to bring Robertson back, and a faith-based group, Faith Driven Consumer, launch a website IStandWithPhil.com demanding the network reinstate the "Duck Dynasty" star.

"Simply put, Phil Robertson is being censored and punished for quoting the Bible, and A&E's treatment of him is punitive and highly discriminatory, " said Faith Driven Consumer Founder Chris Stone.

The group tells CNN they have about 30,000 signatures on their petition as of Thursday afternoon and expect those numbers to rise.

CNN's Marlena Baldacci contributed to this report.


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Sarah Palin
soundoff (459 Responses)
  1. Mark

    The more liberal a country gets, the less rights you have as a citizen of that country.

    December 19, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  2. JC

    He has the right to say what he thinks. The network has a right to fire him for any reason. Not an issue either way. He exercised his right and the network did theirs. Freedom works both ways.

    December 19, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  3. Jack

    It was wrong to censor him. Better to let the show's ratings fall. That would be an enlightened society condemning his disgusting words, not a paranoid network concerned about sponsorsdislosing sponsors.

    December 20, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @stating the obvious: "It just GAULS the lefties in here that Phil has more of everything than they can ever dream of having!"

    So you admit that what's most important to righties is money? Makes sense, given how shallow and craven you all are.

    December 20, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  5. WIMan

    I am surprised Sarah Palin, Tom Cruz and Bobby Jindal, who apparently feel they need to defend the Phil Robertson's right to free speech, were did not as vocal when it came to defending Martin Basher's right to free speech. Or, is the right to free speech only for those who agree with THEM?

    December 20, 2013 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  6. duhhh

    Fact check, was sarah palin really the gop 2012 vp candidate? I dont think so.

    December 20, 2013 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  7. breathe deep

    "kudos to the man for saying what MILLIONS of Humans think.......just because the behavior is tolerated by more and more people doesn't make it any less sickening and disgusting...."

    kudos to the man for saying what MILLIONS of Humans think.......just because the behavior is tolerated by MILLIONS and many more MILLIONS of people doesn't make it any less sickening and disgusting....

    FIFY...

    December 20, 2013 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  8. DuckCommando

    Freedom of speech is #1 issue here. If A/E didn't suspect Phil is the way he is before they took on Duck Dynasty, shame on A/E. Maybe A/E only saw a cash cow in Phil. At least you know what you get with Phil. Can you say the same for A/E?

    December 20, 2013 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  9. scrubby

    but the bible speaks of what he says so…….if the truth hurts then, sorry.

    December 20, 2013 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
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