December 19th, 2013
12:18 PM ET
10 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. ryan

    Who really cares what he said. Why was the inventor of a duck call being interviewed about gay people by a men's fashion magazine. So what if A&E drops the show. He's already a multimillionare and will continue to make money off his duck call business. He's already been made rich by the show and sales from all the camo crap with a Duck Dynasty logo on it.

    If what he said hurts your feelings enough, don't watch the show. Don't buy a camo bandana. And don't buy the January issue of GQ.

    Are people really so sensitive that a reality TV star's opinions about a political issue upset them that much? Get over it and worry about something that actually matters. And we wonder what is wrong with our society.

    December 19, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Silly me, I guess I learned from a third grade teacher that "Yes, you have freedom of speech. But remember what you say may have other consequences.

    December 19, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. David

    The first amendment doesn't really apply. The 1st amendment prevents the government (congress specifically) from passing laws that prohibit your right to speak. A&E has no obligation to provide Phil a platform to speak. This is no different than a sponsor dropping someone (Tiger Woods, Paula Dean) because they have done or said something "controversial". Phil is still free to speak his mind in other places. Also, being suspended from the show doesn't mean he isn't still getting paid. The funny thing is that Phil quotes the bible and mentions "neither the adulterers...drunkards..." and I have heard that he himself had a stint as both. I obviously don't know the truth, but if he does indeed have demons in his past (as most of us do), then he should preach compassion at all costs. Especially since it appears that his family may have done so for him.

    December 19, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. JessThinkin

    I wonder how Bobby Jindal would respond if similar derogatory comments were made about South Asian Indians or his religion. He may be a Christian, but it's more likely he is HIndu or at least have Hindu ancestry. Sarah Palin may have a hard time identifying with a minority since she is a white Christian, but I'm sure that she would take offense at comments about special needs children or unwed teenaged girls.

    December 19, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Laura

    Freedom of speech only means that a person cannot be arrested and put in jail for stating their personal beliefs. It doesn't mean that a privately owned company which employs that person can't discipline or fire them for publicly making comments that could reflect badly on the company. A&E will probably lose a lot of viewers, at least temporarily, over their decision, but they had every right to do it.

    December 19, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. AMUSED

    I am reading the comments on here and am thinking that we as a sociaty are screwed up in our thinking. I see both sides of the arguement here but it seems that both sides are not willing to look at everything as a whole. No matter what side of the arguement you are on, you will always think the other side are a bumch of idiots for thinking the way they do. This is the way I see. Freedom of speech is freedom of speach. Phil said what he believes. Right or wrong, it is his right as an American citizen to be able to say it. But lets look at the other side. The LBGT movement calls what he said hate speech and says that he is a bigot and everything else. But yet, they can say what they believe and say that people who don't beleve what they believe are sinners and God doesn't agree wth them and basically say what Phil said and NOTHING is ever done to them because it seems that people are afraid to say anything due to being rediculed and pointed out like Phil is being. So I guess I said all of that to say this. People believe what they believe. And they should be allowed to say what they believe without reprisal. He is not trying to push what he believes on others. He was asked a question and he gave an honest answer. The crazy part of all this is A&E KNEW what they stood for when they started the show. So they should not be surprised over what he said. But then again, that's just my opinion.

    December 19, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    *******************************
    And, have Age-of-Consent las been abolished anywhere? Has there been any widespread move towards doing that in the last 40 years? The only people who might want that are Warren Jeffs and his people. And since the 90s are a distant memory, the manifesto you refer to is dated, to say the least. By the way, how can I identify the Gay Gestapo? Do you they wear falmboyant constumes, complete with capes and high heels?

    December 19, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Alan W

    Where would we be without Palin trying to stay relevant with anything that can again divide people across the country, especially at a time where she as a Christian should be teaching Love thy Neighbor etc etc. She is a first class idiot, a muppet who likes to stir the pot, and maybe she can move her hillbilly alaskan tribe down to live with this ignorant redneck hillbilly.

    December 19, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. Mark Causey

    In case Palin and Jandal have forgotten, the good old USA is a nation built on the principles of Capitalism. The network that banned this guy did it thinking it would be best for their ratings and bottom line. Political Correctness, in itself, had little or nothing to do with their decision.

    December 19, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Alan W

    Jimmy the Swartz, you are a complete FOOL. So you have to go back 40 years and pick out one idiotic statement from one person and then brush the entire gay community with that. Go back to bed, your momma is getting cold without you there to snuggle up with her.

    December 19, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Robert Deininger

    Phil is a good man,the type we need more of,the show Duck Dynesty is a good Christian /family based show that is the type of show we just don't have enough of......so he spoke his nind,I have 2 gays in my family and I have to walk on egg shells around them,because I agree with Phil,I see them as wrong,but I wont condem them,its not my place,thats what Phil tried to say,,,,,,,,,,lets forgive him.........

    December 19, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Whosure wrote:

    Never watched the show, but the statements would not surprise me. I keep wondering why these two decided to get involved. Why would they want to associate themselves with remarks like this?
    -------------------------
    Simple. It's called pandering for dollars. It's a controversy that's gives them a chance to get their names in the news, and minds of the public. The story will probably last beyond its' allotted 15 minutes of fame if they help it along a little.

    Bikeryder wrote:

    Seems to me this was an interview, a discussion of the mans beliefs. Discussion is a good thing. Also, wonder how much of the article was taken out of context.
    -------------------------
    That's where you're wrong. Yes, it was an interview. But, for those who have never heard of the show, it will be seen as an interview with the star of "Duck Dynasty", not an interview with the man. No doubt, A&E wishes to stay out of the political arena. If you want people to respect PHil's opinions, then show some respect for the opinions of others that disagree with it.

    December 19, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    Now that this bearded fella has exercised his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, can A&E now exercised theirs as well by FIRING HIM?

    Hello!!!!

    ....last time I checked this is CAPITALISM except my gop tea potty friends dont want BIG BUSINESS to make corporate and financial decisions that may hurt their DEEP POCKETS!!!!

    marinate on that!!!

    December 19, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. The Great Healer

    You have the right to your opinion as long as i don't disagree with it.

    Welcome to the New World Order

    You're freedom of speech and along with it your right to your personal opinion is now trumped by my right to feel all goody-goody about myself.

    December 19, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. topo gigo

    A&E is getting exactly what they want, publicity....whether the keep or fire the moron, it's still publicity for their show.

    December 19, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    Well conservatives this is a free market decision and dont u just hate it when the free market principles come back around and bite u in the assets

    You want freedom of speech...there you have it!!! A&E has the right to fire this guy and yes, they exercised that freedom of speech alright!!!

    December 19, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Wendy

    Interviewer who asked the question must have had some idea what the answer would be knowing full well the views of Phil. GQ did not have to print the remarks if they knew they were inflamatory. I don't agree with him but if you don't think you are going to like the opionion dont ask for it!

    December 19, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Silence DoGood

    @Jimmy the Swartz "It's the Gay Gestapo, they scream for tolerance, but show absolutely no tolerance for others. "
    I would ask God to open your heart and send you out to actually get to know a few gay people. Then you won't have to parrot something you heard from someone about a footnote on a 1972 event. Dude – over 40 years ago????

    December 19, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Church of Suicidal

    Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from Consequences. Whoever taught these two incompetents about the Const!tution and Bill of Rights must be cringing in shame.

    December 19, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. rs

    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 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "Free speech" only applies to state action. Get some learnin' fools. You have no right to say whatever you want and be free from others criticizing it. As for the nonsense about "oh, look at the hypocrites being intolerant," get a life. Statements that encourage rampant intolerance, bigotry, discrimination and hate are going to get criticized, and we have no obligation to "tolerate" that kind of poison just to show how "tolerant" we are.

    Stop your freekin pantwetting, you silly bigots.

    December 19, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama: "Brian in all fairness Lynda did not make that statement. I made that statement."

    My thanks to you (and the many others) who commented on Brian's tirade to me, but I am on record for saying I have never watched Duck Dynasty. Apparently that set Brian off on the wrong foot with me. Remarkable what gets the other side all bent out of shape and falling off their rockers.

    Brian did get a bit personal on me - and between you and me ; ) - it's on par with how they generally react ...yes?

    December 19, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. rs

    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.
    _________________________________________
    Well, we're done now, we have a 40 year old Internet based conspiracy at bat!

    December 19, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Victoria Turner

    Well we now know the truth. If you read the Bible and believe it to be a book of truths, then you were lied to.

    December 19, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. TheyCallMe

    Duck guy being interviewed by a fashion magazine ?????..Giving camo fashion tips

    December 19, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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