December 19th, 2013
12:18 PM ET
12 months 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. Andrew

    Sure he has the right to say whatever he wants.
    And the network has that same right to suspend him since he represents them.
    Oh well….

    December 19, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    No way Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, and what is it called ... ah, yes ... the "Faith Driven Consumer" would involve themselves in that which isn't connected to them personally.

    No. Way.

    December 19, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    Yeah, it's all about the "politically correct crowd" and has nothing to do with A&E protecting their shareholders from the defection of a bunch of sponsors. These whiners and "victims" should ask Clear Channel how well it's working out for them since they started bleeding red ink after their a.m. radio main attraction cost them hundreds of sponsors with his protracted verbal assault against a private citizen.

    December 19, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Mr. Big Duck has a right to his beliefs – and his employer has the right to suspend him for representing their brand in a way with which they don't agree.

    You'd think that even a simpleton like the Quitta would understand that, but she, like so many other RWNJs, whine and cry whenever they don't get their way.

    December 19, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    Andrew

    Sure he has the right to say whatever he wants.
    And the network has that same right to suspend him since he represents them.
    Oh well….

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    To paraphrase a post from another thread: Get a job at McDonalds and start telling employees & customers how much better Burger King is, and see how long you have your job!

    December 19, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. current state of the union

    Duck dynasty crash and burn! Jindals statement is the epitome of transference, politically correct intolerant, he must not understand that political correctness is designed around complete tolerance, they think your stupid people, when will you tire of it? They have a very difficult time messaging alright, how do you message hate and intolerance in s manner that is embraeable? That's the real messaging problem they have, fortunately their voters don't care to much for facts, very restricting.

    December 19, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. ada ada

    Hey Andrew,

    Phil doesnt "represent" the network, he is on contract with them...When you hire a Plumber/building contractor does he represent you?...Same thing here

    A&E forced him cuz advertisers likely wanted them to...Follow the $...Nadda is based on principle here. just $....

    December 19, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. A True Conservative

    Why is any of this a surprise? The liberal left has been like this for years. I'm free to think, believe or say anything – as long as they agree with me. If they disagree, I am accused of intolerance and attacked with....wait for it....intolerance! Read what the man said and tell me that he is intolerant. He was simply stating his opinion. Then A&E responds immediately to complaints from a few groups and suspends the man for offering his opinion. Ridiculous! I just hope that this doesn’t cause more people to tune in to the show and increase revenue for A&E….maybe the Duck Dynasty folks can simply refuse to film any more episodes and let A&E see their number one show walk away…….

    December 19, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "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."
    ---------------------------------
    There the hypocrites go again. The right wing will merrily stomp all over someone's First Amendment's freedom of religion without blinking an eye. The right will eagerly shove their religious views down anyone and everyone's throat, and take offense when someone tells them to back up. No one took away the man's freedom of speech. He can still go wherever he pleases and repeat whatever he said. Likewise, A&E network expressed their own freedom of speech in wanting to take a nuetral stance when it comes to politics. The right wing consistently demonstrates this sort of arrogant hypocrisy.

    It's fine for a business owner to embrace a conservative perspective on a topic, and then enforce that perspective on the business' employees: i.e. coverage of birth control pills on employer provided health insurance.

    But, it is not okay for a business owner to not embrace a conservative perspective on a topic, and then enforce that perspective on the business employees: i.e., not wanting high profile employees to take political stands.

    December 19, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    The solution is simple: The duckies need to start their own network, get their own sponsors, pay for all the production, promotion and broadcast expenses, and then they can say whatever they want.

    FIFY

    December 19, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Why are the Quitta and Bobby against free-market capitalism? Do they want government control over what broadcast companies can put on the air?

    Sounds like a bunch of Communists to me ..

    December 19, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Doug in NYC

    Where was Palins and Piyush Jindal defense of the free speech The Dixie Chicks displayed? Oh right I forgot, Do as I say Not as I do.......

    December 19, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Not a Hater

    Yes, it's odd that people don't also support A&E's right to do whatever it feels is best for them. The "freedom" fighters should certainly understand that, shouldn't they? It's probably not OK in most other businesses to spout off out-dated biblical references (working on Sabbath, eating seafood, sex before marriage) if the person paying your salary is offended by them.

    December 19, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    Ahhhhhh the enlightened conservative base of the American GOP voter.
    And the next article will be about the GOP hand-wringing over why they are losing non-white, women, and gay votes.
    He has a right to his opinion and I have a right to consider the dark side of the GOP when I vote.

    December 19, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Pat

    I think it's a sad, sad day when a person cannot express his own opinion. He didn't claim that it was the view of A & E, just his. Everyone has the right to his/her opinion, whether you like it or not, it is SUPPOSED to be a right in our country! Shame on you A & E for your actions against him.

    December 19, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Sarah Palin = GIGO

    December 19, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Laura

    Way to go Phil! You made CNN I see from FB!!!!! We love the Duck Commander and have the same beliefs he does. God Rules those who intend on being in the heavenly kingdom-> Not hell!

    December 19, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. patNY

    First of all...the First Amendment only applies to gov't. A private company like A&E can censure this guy for saying anything they find objectionable, especially if its in his contract.
    Secondly, who gives a rat's tukus what these inbreeding hill billies have to say about anything?
    Third, the show sucks and anyone who likes it is a low information red neck.

    December 19, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. current state of the union

    Getting tough to be a Republican!

    December 19, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein

    I think that Jindal (who doesn't want the party being stupid) and Palin are missing the point. He can say homosexuality is a sin. The issue is that he compared it with beastiality when it shouldn't have been. You can think that, but it is one of those things that isn't said to a reporter; only to your friends that agree with you on this. Why he was asked about this is just plain beyond me.

    @Andrew, you have the correct point. A&E has a right to broadcast anything it wants and will control what it shows. They could see this as a way not to lose advertisers.

    December 19, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Laurie Longey-Greenia

    Phil is right based on the Bible.And he should not be punished for using his God given constitutionally gauranteed rights!Gays don't like it, move.Alot of things i don't like but others still have the RIGHT voice their opinions,no matter what i like.Deal with it.

    December 19, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Well, that did it for me.
    The show just lost another fan.

    December 19, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    The Bible was written by men and rewritten by men countless times, each time to suit their own political purposes. It all started with the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. Like everyone else, I pick and choose from it what I want to believe – and my experience of God just isn't as narrow, hateful, insecure and intolerant as that of the Quitta, Bobby and the LA ducks.

    December 19, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Troy

    What's the big deal? If you read the Bible and are a Christian, you have no choice but to think like this guy. It's right there in black and white. Oh, you're a Christian that hasn't read that part yet?

    December 19, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. S

    It's sad that a governor and a former governor don't know what the First Amendment actually protects... it says that the GOVERNMENT cannot abridge the freedom of speech. It doesn't say anything about what TV networks or any other private enterprise, for that matter, can do.

    December 19, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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