December 19th, 2013
12:18 PM ET
9 years 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."

β€œTo 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 petition as of Thursday morning rallying support to bring Robertson back, and a faith-based group, Faith Driven Consumer, launch a website 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. rs


    Troy (and to any other Christians)

    I'm a Christian and I respect Phil and his families deep rooted faith. I do, however, have a HUGE problem with people like them. Yes if you read the bible it does say something akin to what Phil said...
    Actually it doesn't- and anyone who would say what this guy did ISN'T a Christian- of any cloth.

    December 19, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Brian

    Lynda/Minnesota you also commented about the Christ you knew or learned about at a young age, if you had learned about Christ then you know that everything Phil Robertson said his biblical. There's a difference between going to church and learning something while you were there at a young age.

    December 19, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Mike G

    Why do news organizations continue to cover Palin's ramblins (sic) when even Fox News has jettisoned her eighth grade diatribes? For the record, she was the 2008 Vice Presidential nominee and failed governor who resigned halfway through her term.

    December 19, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. KD

    A&E made their choice based on their beliefs and what is right for their business. No one impeded phil's free speech. He got to say what he wanted to say. A&E has a right to their free speech too which is to say we don't want this person on our show. So no free speech has been muted. Both sides said what they wanted to say. Free speech means you get your say. There may be repercussions to what you say though. Try telling off your boss and see what happens πŸ™‚

    December 19, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. GatorDude

    I don't watch Duck Dynasty or Honey Boo-Boo. I find it a bit offensive that a television network finds colorful, stereo-typical, characters that are indigenous to the South and puts them on freakshow-like display. However, if you are going to have a "reality" show, part of "reality" is that people are going to say what they want when they want. The things they say may not always be politically correct.

    By the way, the South is more gay friendly than many think. Every other car here in Georgia has a "G" sticker on the back. There is also plenty of tolerance for adulterers. I see lots of cars driving around with huge scarlet letter "A's" in their back windows. Nathaniel Hawthorne would be really proud of this place.

    December 19, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. rs


    Sarah Palin Defends Duck Dynasty Star, But What About Martin Bashir?
    That's different. It was all about her then.

    December 19, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. james

    Hey all thank you for letting me voice a comment we should see what we could do with true conviction, maybe solve the problems with immorality, congress not solving the problems of this country with partisanship used as selfish goals. The world is tired of America with no Set of good Morals or how we do not remember are agreements after a few days. Were being at war for the inability to honor or to be honorable in our dealings with other peoples.

    December 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. cedar rapids

    'ssgttyo – Getting a way from the religious angle, you're allowed to say whatever you want in this country and as such you shouldn't have to worry about backlash over an opinion. '

    Why shouldnt you have to worry about backlash? Why do you think freedom of speech also means freedom from response to that speech, especially in a private organization, non-governmental arena?
    It is bizarre to me that people seem to be going ........'but, but, but, that's not fair, you are not allowed to do anything back, you have to listen to what i spout without response!'

    December 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Congrats Phil!

    If Palin shows up on Duck Dynasty I will shut off A&E forever.

    December 19, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Echoes

    Sarah Palin is too stupid to govern. Taking someone off of your PRIVATELY RUN television network because they spew filth is not an affront to their free speech. They are STILL just as able to say what they were saying before. The government is not getting involved. We are NOT required to provide members of a dangerous and vile cult with a platform to spew their bigotry on the air.

    December 19, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. ghostwriter

    Geez.....Who knew this many conservatives listen to Kanye.

    Sorry guys. Duck Dude is in the public eye. For those conservatives complaining, the same thing happened to Isiah Washington (black actor). And if you are in the public eye, you had better watch what you say.

    December 19, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Bgdog42

    "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."

    You just sent a bad message of your faith.
    You say that you believe that GOD made all beings, and if you are a Christian then you believe that GOD is all knowing and perfect. Then How can being gay be anything other than a choice.
    GOD would not make a person he despises. (actually GOD calls it WICKEDNESS). You are speaking out of both sides of your mouth,
    I believe that GOD gave us free will and some CHOOSE to be gay and give in to WICKEDNESS.

    December 19, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    He nor anyone else who is a bigot is a Christian. Also, I find it extremely funny to find all these people defending this bigot when the majority of these people would never have had a thing to do with him or his family until they made millions of dollars. This long haired, long beared man, nasty looking man would not have been spoken to by the majority of people commenting. Go figure that anyone who calls themselves a Christian decides to judge other people.

    It is between the network and these "so-called" stars as to what the contract reads. I will no longer watch this show.

    December 19, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Alice Baker

    Why do the networks put these ignoramuses on and then act surprised when they act like what they are–ignoramuses.

    December 19, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. gary

    If A8E announced that it was their corporate reilgious beliefs that caused them to suspend the Duck idiot, would Palin be supporting A&E's 1st Amendment rights?

    December 19, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Brian who stated (among other things): "I'm just guessing, voicing my opinion hopefully I won't get censored indefinitely but I'm guessing Lynda from your comments you turned your back on Christ long ago and the show must offend you based on you don't watch the show nor would I."

    Surely you can't be suggesting I "gave up on Christ" long ago because I don't (nor ever would) watch Duck Dynasty?

    On a good note, Brian ... see, you were not censored. Good for you!

    And please rest assured, regardless of what you may think of me, I very much enjoy my walk with Christ. Indeed. Walking with Christ is the highlight of my life.

    December 19, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. cliff

    The whole Duck Dynasty family should leave A&E and bring their following to a more Christen friendly media. i know i would switch channels and A&E can deal with finding a family they think will garner that kind of following and dollars.

    December 19, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC


    Lynda/Minnesota, interesting comment, you say being booted from the show is just one of those consequences, consequences I guess you are talking about for speaking your mind or standing up for what you believe in. Lynda you say you don't watch the show nor would I yet you are allowed the very rights to post your opinion in this forum but you weren't suspended indefinitely for saying what you think. Also Phil Robertson's comments has nothing to do with the nation's belief, it has to do with his own personal beliefs and a a nation that follows Christ ... ... YADA YADA YADA
    Mr. Phil was being interviewed as a representative of A&E, as the star of "Duch Dynasty". He crossed the line. People like Alec Baldwin have been fired for less. Baldwin made unflattering remarks walking the streets of NYC as a private citizen, being chased by the papparazzi. AND, Baldwin e was fired by the same "lame stream media" cable network that fired Martin Bashir. Bashir, the man who so freely spoke his mind about the one and the same Sarah Palin. IOKIFYAR

    December 19, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Bgdog42

    PROVE that GAY is something we are born with.
    Otherwise it is just a belief to make someone feel better for giving in to WICKEDNESS.
    But dont worry, JESUS was tortured and died for us. WE are ALL sinners.
    Christians are to LOVE everyone and not judge, that does not mean we must agree with everyones choices and never explain our belief.

    December 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Brian- "Phil Robertson isn't perfect and has a past but something changed in his life when he met Christ and I for one along with about 12,000,000 others admire him. The world has tried to silence the "Word" for thousands of years and I don't think A&E has a chance."
    This is not about the "Word": its about an employee violating an agreement. This is not about the world's continuing efforts to silence the " Word": its about the naivte and/or arrogance of a man who has used his faith to transform only part of himself, not the whole. He's not a prophet of God, he's a man who violated the terms of a contract, and who spends equal time as a self-appointed Pharisee and self-described redneck. He's not a role model, he's a character that A&E films and edits, to his immense earthly gratification in the form of merchandise and money. In other words, he is a creation of A&E. You are not seeing his real self, but i suspect the GQ interview is more indicative of who he really is. I'll leave others to draw their own conclusions.

    December 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Juan Espinosa

    Phil, you are my hero. Love your show!

    December 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Juan Espinosa

    Phil and the rest of his family doesn't need A&E; they need him!

    December 19, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. rs


    Lynda/Minnesota, interesting comment, you say being booted from the show is just one of those consequences, consequences I guess you are talking about for speaking your mind or standing up for what you believe in. Lynda you say you don't watch the show nor would I yet you are allowed the very rights to post your opinion in this forum but you weren't suspended indefinitely for saying what you think. Also Phil Robertson's comments has nothing to do with the nation's belief, it has to do with his own personal beliefs and a a nation that follows Christ that's funny because I don't see that so much so I guess that's why they're not like the Christ you learned about at a very young age.....
    You'll first find that Jesus never said anything like the Duck "Commander" did and if you do believe that, you are clearly dealing with some version of the Bible very different from mine (or anybody else's), and second you should note that A & E didn't ask the DC to speak on their behalf on that topic.
    The guy blew it- he made a socially unacceptable and hateful statement and his employer dumped him- that is their right.

    December 19, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. I AM

    Well, now we have expert Sarah Palin chiming in...what she doesn't understand, the guy had a contract that forbidden him to say things like that . While he has the right to say anything he wants, he has to pay the price for his opinions.

    December 19, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    1st Amendment rights have been upheld. The guy isn't being criminally arrested for what he said. He isn't being privately sued for what he said. That's what the 1st Amendment is about. - The guy is welcome to say what he wants. A&E is welcome to suspend him. Each member of the public is welcome to support one side or the other. - I would have thought that two state governors would be familiar with the 1st Amendment.

    December 19, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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