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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Silence DoGood

    @rs
    Jimmy the Swartz

    It's the Gay Gestapo,blah blah 1972...
    -----–
    Well, we're done now, we have a 40 year old Internet based conspiracy at bat!
    -----–
    I was waiting for a connection to aliens and area 51 – that would have "jumped the shark
    -------------------------------------------------
    Anyone make mention of the Obama the Shoshulizt and Acorn connection yet?!

    December 19, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. thenakedpolitico

    again you forgot the real reason people watched this show was because it was funny,stupid? yes plenty of times.saw them do things no christian family would do.some them do things no gun owner would do....but in the end it was funny,made me laugh,not to many shows on tv can say that,not to mention having to sit through 15 minutes of ads every half hour.

    December 19, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Sean

    Robertson had freedom of speech and A&E had freedom of termination. Oh and does anyone care what a failed governor, failed vice president nominee and failed reality star has to say anyways. Ted Cruz well sadly I live in Houston TX, as for Jindal even republicans kind of shy away from him.

    December 19, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Mopery

    Censorship is nothing if not mind control. When we accept censorship as a good thing, we begin to censor ourselves unconsciously, becoming a more dishonest society because of it. This spotlight on Phil's words could be a grand opportunity for a national discussion about s e x u a l i t y and race, which might bring us closer to some middle-ground on the issues. Instead, the corporate media thugs are using it to divide us into polarized factions. Whether you like Phil or despise him, you must accept that he was at least honest in his opinion.

    December 19, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. stating the obvious

    It just GAULS the lefties in here that Phil has more of everything than they can ever dream of having! Way to go Phil!! Keep doing exact ly what you're doing. It is A&E's loss not yours. I canalmost guarantee you will make more money now with your new show on another channel. I look forward to watching you there. A&E is history as far as my channel selection goes.

    December 19, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Brett

    Poor Conservative Christians, who would have no problem firing a Boy Scout Troop Leader who is gay….getting a taste of their own medicine, and they don't like it. :(

    December 19, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Rich Townes

    Palin is starting to remind me Gloria Swanon in the classic movie, Sunset Boulevard. In that movie, Swanson played a hack, washed up old sot, and that is what Palin is. She thinks that what she has to say means anything? The woman who embarrassed herself in 2008 over and over? The woman who qui her job as governor, an elected position because she could not cut it? Oh yeah....that Palin for you...and a hint to Ms. Palin, stay away from HD TV, you look awful!!!!

    December 19, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Mike

    All they need to do is leave A&E and sign with a non-liberal television network and the problem will be solved. That show makes A&E more money than any show has ever made them.

    December 19, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. vinster76

    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....

    December 19, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Joe Bob

    For those who think Phil's freedom of speech rights weren't violated, I wonder how you would feel if you were fired for announcing you support Obama on your own personal time? Phil had a right to speak his mind on his personal time without being fired by the PC police who don't even watch his show to begin with.

    December 19, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Jim

    Well, well, I wonder if Walmart is going to pull the plug on Mr. Phil like they did to Paula Deen? Where was Palin, Cruz and all to defend her? Or is it only selective case of crying wolf?

    December 19, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama

    Darn. I wish my happy face icon would print. Please note that I am "winking" at you!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Duly noted! ;)
    Did mine work?!

    December 19, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Common Sense is painful

    You reap what you sow.

    December 19, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Judy Franklin

    An opinion is usually how some one has thought about, and considered their heart felt beliefs and feelings. Voicing how you feel is supposed to be a freedom of speech. What mind do we have if we can't voice ours?

    December 19, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  15. John Rosen

    outrageous. Where does this type of censorship go next. If you diss pepsi, does that mean you may be denied admission to a venue where pepsi is the only beverage sold.

    December 19, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. Karen

    Ah, yes, Palin crying about free speech now? Was she singing this tune when people were bashing her? Her children? Her husband? No, she cried foul. Free speech only when she wants to hear it.

    December 19, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. Melvyn Moy

    The ax swings both ways. Need I remind Sarah Palin of how pleased they were when Martin Bashir was given the ax for his remarks. Both were exercising their 1st Amendment rights. But so was A&E when it decided that they didn't want their company associated with certain comments they felt might reflect poorly on their network. It wasn't the government. It wasn't an exercise of law.

    December 19, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. leo

    I agree the man has a right to think what he wants and say what he wants.

    And I think A&E has a right to expect that those who work for them, represent them well.

    What's the problem here?

    December 19, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  19. teedofftaxpayer

    Where was the "freedom of speech" when the guy was terminated for saying what he said about Sarah? Guess it only works for rednecks.

    December 19, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. Randy I Scott

    Phil you are totally right in what you said it is a sin. Stick to your guns. They can't say that the Bible is not right.

    December 19, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. simon

    freedom of speech what a joke it is these days bring back phil to the show wont be the same without him hope all his family stick by him and dont do show show without him so make us fans happy happy happy and reinstate him asap

    December 19, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. jon wilson

    It's all about the 1st amendment. He should be able to say what he wants. If it were somebody talking pro gay stuff it would probably get overlooked and even accepted. Now that Phil speaks his mind which is predominantly out of the bible he's scorned, shunned, and suspended for being real for which the show was founded on. A&E has a big problem on it's hands.

    December 19, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Randy I Scott

    I watch your show and love it because of how you all acted . What's right is right. .I respected you and your family. We all should have a family as close as yours .

    December 19, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  24. LisaName

    I am so sick of this gay rights stuff. I am not agenst gays but I am sick of everything we say offending them!!! What about what the gays say about us! Maybe they shouldn't be so sensitive! They want to be treated equil then act like an equil take your lumps like the rest of us!

    December 19, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. william samuels

    and then the Republicans can't figure out why they lose elections

    December 19, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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