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. CryBabies

    @atroy...Foot in mouth there atroy. Bobby Jindal was born in Baton Rouge. After you take your foot out and take a deep breath, do some research...perhaps Sniffet, Rudy, Woman in California, Al NYNY, Think Again could guide you.

    December 19, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Big_D

    What does the Bible say about having a hard heart Phil?

    December 19, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. ED1

    I guess only some people like gays and blacks have the right to free speech not the rest of because we become a racist that seems to be the case in almost everything.

    December 19, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. smith

    @Tone- You need to help yourself to a dictionary. Racist means a person who thinks their race is supreme or above all others. When did he say whites were the supreme race?

    December 19, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Jack

    Love how we're all supposed to feel sorry for Palin when Bashir speaks about her disgracefully, but she's ready to defend a man who's compared a class of people to animals. But Palin has a connection to Duck Dynasty, really, as she, like they, is a fake celebrity, a person famous for being famous, a complete opportunistic fraud who hides behind her Bible.

    December 19, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Big_D

    As a preacher I'm sure Phil is real proud that he has inspired more hate.

    December 19, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Catori

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.".

    Anyone recognize that ? Or do you all go straight to the bill of rights ?

    December 19, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Snooki Palin and the Guns Over People tea potty love to defend these wackjobs

    December 19, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Randy

    I defend his right to say what he believes. I also believe a company has a right to protect it's reputation and brand as that is its greatest asset. It comes down to what agreement was created between Robertson and A&E then they contracted. Since there is such a stong tie between the two, he probably should have thought better of his choice of words. Every right has its price.

    December 19, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. kathy0715

    I realize $arah Paylin is not the smartest girl in the class, but I actually thought Jindal would know the definition of Free Speech. This jerk is not in jail for his comments, he is free to say whatever he wants, and his employer is free to fire him if he wants. This is not a Free Speech argument.

    December 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Gusto

    @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......."

    Nailed it dude. Great point. Neither case was too bad. The bestiality comparison was a bit extreme as well as the unintended slight towards blacks that since they were "white trash" they were no better than blacks (or something to that effect.

    December 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Denise

    Seriously, who cares what this fool says or does. He's making millions, laughing all the way to the bank. I doubt he has an education so more power to him. I am confused over the defense of his comments. I thought tea party was all for capitalism and business regulations and decisions. Didn't Mittens say he liked to fire people. This is along the same lines as state rights for those on the right. Of course, when their backs are up against it, they want the federal government or USSC to step in....

    December 19, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. nolaresident2007

    And their are repercussions sometimes for what we say.

    December 19, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Fanoffreedom

    I appreciate Phil for saying what he believes in. Not everyone has the the same mindset, get over it and quit trying to make the World a one minded boring place. I am pretty sure there are battles, starvation, uneducated children, slavery, and opression that are a little more imortant that ones persons beliefs. Phil was the best on the show as he stood tall as a man who believed in what he said. The show is tanking with the rest of the family getting sucked in to the networks scripts. Thank you for speaking up Phil, standing your ground and making the US a place for speaking your mind, even if I don't agree... I respect you.

    December 19, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. MarkH

    On one hand you repubs are all about championing the "Right to Work" states, where an employer can fire you for ANY reason what so ever, including how you look. But when "one of your kind" is let go, " It's unconstitutional!!! Cry me a river.

    December 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. michael

    this is why i want NOTHING to do with christians. they're all like him. he reminds me of that movie, "deliverenc".

    December 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Roy

    That Palin would side with this "character" is no surprise, but Bobby Jinal is supposed to be a highly educated man.

    December 19, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. stormchaser101

    Wow duck dy nasty just shot its self in the foot.say bye bye to A and E

    December 19, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. rs

    To those of you who think something unjustified happened here, try this experiment. Go down to your employer's HR department. Take the "Commander"'s quote from the story above (change it to any ethnic or sexual orientation if you like), and tell the HR person you're going to make a public announcement in the name of the company or business containing those statements.
    See how fast they offer you to resign in advance.

    December 19, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Really?

    Is anyone really surprised the GOP and Tea stood behind and defended bigoted comments? Really? REALLY?

    December 19, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Ruthann Adamsky

    Mrs. Palin doesn't get it; this IS freedom of speech at its purest. The Duck man said what he thought and the people he worked for temporarily fired him. My employer, in our company handbook, made it quite clear that I would be fired if I spoke out against the company or in any way which reflected badly on the company. And I was working for minimum wage. I imagine the Duck man made more; I hope he has heard of a bank account and put some away for lean times.
    He can continue to speak his mind; as can we all. He is not, however, free from the consequences of unguarded speech. I should think Mrs. Not The Vice president would know that too.

    December 19, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Al-NY,NY

    Having Simple Sarah support anything you do is the kiss of death.............

    December 19, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. George

    OK, let's review what we learned in civics class.

    The First Amendment prevents the government from restricting free speech. Period. It does not give a free pass in the court of public (or private) opinion. That means you can say what you want and not be jailed over it, but you still have to expect possible consequences from everyone else.

    Does everyone really need to be reminded of this?

    December 19, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. ssgttyo

    I agree that anyone has the right to say what they want, but should be smart enough to know when to tactful. Phil's opinions have been shared several times throughout the show, though not to this extreme. There have been numerous cases where people have been bombarded with hate after saying negative things about a person or group of people.

    In this day and age there is a movement for everything, and the First Amendment is suffering the full brunt of the assault. Slander lawsuits, and all around pop culture have devestated it over the years.

    I do agree Phil has the right to say what he wants, but he should have said it with a little more respect. If someone got on camera and said "I love all rednecks but they're all inbred and are no better than someone who practices beastiality" then Phil would have taken offense just like those he used similar statements about.

    I am a Christian, and a very proud one at that. I respect Phil, and his families, deap rooted faith in god. I do, however, have a huge problem with the way he, and others, promote that faith. Thanking god, and praising god in your everyday life is key. If you truly believe that being gay is a choice, which I don't, then I would think you would want to promote the acceptance and love that our faith was created in. Instead people make comments that send a bad message of our faith to the world. If I were gay and thought Phil and the others that sread hate were the spokesmen for Christianity I would be hesitant to want to even consider joining the church.

    In the end we're supposed to try and be as much like Jesus as we can, and I'm yet to read where Jesus said "Mary Magdalene, I love you no matter what but you know you are a prostitute." Flys with honey Phil...

    One last quick thing, is Phil okay with female prostitutes?

    December 19, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Harriet Lewis

    So why do we care what the THREE STOOGES say! Phill Robertson is proof some relative mate! FIRE HIM!!!

    December 19, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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