December 19th, 2013
12:18 PM ET
7 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. Sandy

    The 1st amendment states CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW.. It's not surprising tha Jindal and Palin wouldn't know that.

    December 19, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. VJ

    Until we separate Church and state, religion and LGBT's this will continue... Sarah Palin and Jindal are scapegoats. Who cares what Sarah Palin says??? I don't know why always we should wait for her remarks. The most arrogant women i ever seen in this world. She doesn't have any respect to our president and blacks.

    December 19, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Greg in Dallas

    Robertson's right to free speech is not being denied. He's not being prosecuted and thrown in prison for saying what he did. Where was all of this free speech outrage from the far right when the Dixie Chicks said they were embarrased by President Bush? There are consequences for what anyone says as the Duck Dynasty crowd is learning today.

    December 19, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Equality

    Who remembers Bush's response and member's of the Republican Party's response and the citizens backlash to the Dixie Chicks? They said: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” I wonder where the people who are defending free speech now were after this statement was made. Probably boycotting because of what they said. Double standards– "... is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with."

    December 19, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Jimmy the Swartz

    It's the Gay Gestapo, they scream for tolerance, but show absolutely no tolerance for others. Do a web search for the 1972 Gay Platform. One of their items is the abolishment of all age-of-consent laws (in other words, to make pedophilia legal). In the 1989 book, "After the Ball: How America will Conquer its Fear & Hatred of Gays in the '90s", one of the tactics is the temporary distancing between the gay rights movement and its more radical aims. People are falling for it hook, line and sinker.

    December 19, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. teach truth

    It has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment...It has to do with A & E losing advertisers because they dont want their products associated with closed minded intolerant idiots...What is Walmart going to do...If you walk into a Walmart store it looks like someone threw up Duck Dynasty Merch.... Makes our society and culture look like a joke....

    December 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Jane Doe

    First of all, CNN followers are liberal minded individuals who are tolerant of everything, except when it comes to something they disagree with. DO most of the viewers and people who have made comments on this site even know what a Bible is, much less what it says in the Bible?? It seems to me that political correctness has over run our system of freedom and ability to follow our beliefs, and follow God the way we have been taught from the Bible.

    December 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Wisconsin Gal

    No one is stifling free speech. But an employer has the right to manage its brand and if an employee violates a company policy that embarrasses or otherwise harms its brand, that employee can face discipline.

    December 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Bobby

    These lunatics like Palin and Jindal are quick to talk about First Amendment rights, but they never mention the rights of the show producers (in both radio and TV) to make decisions surrounding their programs as they see fit.

    December 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. sophia

    I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it, Why does the media still keep giving Palin a forum for her worthless, bigoted opinions? Didn't her 15 minutes end years ago?

    December 19, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. kevin

    who cares if there black or gay that's why were in this mess cause both those groups whine about equality f@#$% tired of it mind your own business and accept peoples opinions there will always be people that wont tolerate it live with it, you will whine till the day you die and the gay and lesbian community has a new TV station yea im done watching it

    December 19, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    The most intollerant among us are those preaching tolerance.
    Apparently if I were to express my opinion about how my brother lives his life as a gay man and I'm in the wrong and I'm being intollerant. Yet my brother can slam me for believing in Christ and that's free speech. Doesn't anybody else see the hypocrisy here? When is America going to wake up and realize that the liberal left is the most intollerent group out there?

    December 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. ritmocojo

    Yet Palin and her ilk were out leading Dixie Chicks cd burning rallies. The hypocrasy from these folks never ceases to amaze.

    December 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. vikingwoman

    Intolerance? Yep, I'll go on record to say I'm intolerant to statements suggesting that ho.mo.se.xuality it tantamount to beastiality & Black people were happier being oppressed! Also, to religious groups trying to use their 'religious sensitivities' to opt out of laws & dictating to women what we can & can't do w/our own bodies! I have no tolerance for such 19 th century backwardness! As far as the LGBT community goes, they've been there since time began, right along side straight people! They are finally having voices heard, tenuous acceptance & not having to live in denial, or a 'closet'! Blacks personally know how hard won freedom is & how racism still get's recycled to each generation! Hiding behind religion to spew hateful vitriol is disingenious & imo not worthy of tolerance!!

    December 19, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. GatorDude

    If you do a popular "anthropology" show, you shouldn't intervene when the subject of study does something that contravenes the values of the anthropologist. Think of Star Trek's Prime Directive. A&E put the Duck Dynasty guys on display for all the world to see. It's a little disingenuous to act shocked to learn that rednecks live in Louisiana and that they have a different value system than network executives in New York City. Tolerance doesn't mean you have to like everyone or censor everyone. You just heard what someone else in society had to say. Your ears won't fall off.

    December 19, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. paul1990

    Freedom of Speech does not mean you can speak without consequence. Just that you can speak out against the government without consequence. Everything is up to interpretation. But, no one knows what was in the contract with A&E and maybe this comment was in breach. Palin is, without question, the most uniformed and lame-brained idiot in the country. Why she's given a platform to comment on anything is beyond me.

    December 19, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Dan

    "Former Alaska governor and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin..."

    I'm pretty sure that Paul Ryan was the 2012 GOP Vice Presidential nominee. Way to get your facts straight CNN.

    December 19, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. ghghhgghhhgiii

    well, attention all practicing cristians, you want to really send a message to the lefties who are controlling things than stand up now and defend this man for what he was really trying to say. boycott a & e and make a statement

    December 19, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Robert N. constant

    Piyush Jindal ( aka "Bobby Jindal" ) the Governor of Louisiana, for some reason is defending racist comments against Blacks. This is surprising. Whatever racial mix said Piyush Jindal is, one look confirms that he is surely part Black himself. Doesn't he have any loyalty to his own blood line?
    I can understand Sarah Palin who has gone out of her way to bond with the Southern White Racist block of the Republican Party. I cannot understand where Jindal is coming from. Doesn't he have any pride?

    December 19, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Truth Hurts

    The best way to cure the worlds problems like global warming and perverse behavior is to turn off your t.v. and the "news".

    December 19, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Pamela Deffenbaugh

    I am so proud to be able to support Phil Robinson and his family. I rarely get involved, but the Line Has been Drawn. Enough is enough. Hopefully this injustice will finally bring all of us who just sit and roll our eyes at the Left to Take A Stand! A&E knows they can say or do anything against Christianity, because nothing will happen...well THOSE DAYS ARE OVER!! As they said on "Network" I'm mad as Hell and I'm NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!

    December 19, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. paul1990

    Freedom of is always not without consequence. Any one who feels freedom of speech, if really ignorant. We don't know what was in the contract...maybe something was breached and the suspension warranted. Sarah Palin is the most uniformed, ignorant, goober in the United States....and I'm republican! Someone tell her that her 5 minutes of fame are up and that no one cares what she thinks. She kills the party!

    December 19, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Tolerence is not so if you pick and choose what you hear and lash out at those who speak something other than you believe. That is intolerance and that is what we get from the liberals all the time. This man did nothing wrong and get over yourselves. He has a right to his opinion just like everyone else does and should not be persecuted for them.

    December 19, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Michael

    I for one found his opinion a refreshing change to the politically correct garbage that is thrown at us daily. I for one don't let the professional outrage groups ( with an agenda) influence my religious beliefs. Go Duck go! Where are the great "spiritual leaders" who seem to hide under their beds every time GLAAD or the pimply Left speaks out against them? SHAME on them! I won't deny what I firmly believe in or cave just because the straightphobes have an agenda against religion.

    December 19, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Bortz

    Free speech – Obviously OK I like it – but what if somebody says that there was no holocaust ... isn't this also free speech – what would the apologist say for that one?

    December 19, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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