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."

“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 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. Jane

    yeh, and the liberal left get suspended too, like Martin Bashir, Ed SCHULTZ , Rick sanchez was fired over his free speech. so why is the gop any better, cause they tout religion as a excuse to dislike fellow americanas. really religion. I think not.

    December 19, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. LuckyLizzie

    I am guessing that people posting here, like me, have no idea what his contract with A&E states. More disturbing to me is that his family hasn't come to his defense (unless of course they are prevented in doing so, by their contracts). This has more to do with business that rights. I also find it disturbing that A&E jumps when a joint letter from a couple of big groups dictates how they run their business. If you don't agree with what A&E has done, don't watch them, don't buy products from their sponsors and let them know why. Trust me A&E is like most companies only concerned about turning a buck.

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

    This guy is a buffoon and I don't care where he lives or what he does for a living. It's a dim witted comment. People like Sarah Palin are part of the far right and it's the far right that is destroying the Republician party. Take all their religious crap and go hang out with Pat Robertson.

    December 19, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Bashir said he wanted to crap and pee in plains mouth that is saying you want to cause harm to others. That is not protected speech.

    December 19, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Jane

    I find it absolutely horrifying the way religion is used to promote hate. its not religion, Plain old hypocrisy to me. THE Bible teaches many good things. to use it to promote hate is not one of them.

    December 19, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Joe Dirt

    Duck Dynasty is getting old, commercializedand I had stopped watching it and Phil did not like being on the show anyway.... whats the problem, why does anyone care.

    December 19, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    Pheasant hunter

    What do you expect the liberal left media machine to print or distribute but subtle and negative jabs at the conservatives beginning with Palin. From there, it just morphs outward into something else. No facts, just emotion.


    Word salad anyone?

    December 19, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Jim Nasium

    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.

    Very true. And some have posted that is 1st Amendment rights have been upheld becasue he wasn't criminally charged with any sort of crime. But he is being punished for his opinion. And yes, A&E has a right also to do what they wish, but would they have done it on their own if GLAAD didn't make it an issue? A&E is just caving in to the politically correct organizations.

    December 19, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. bosfaninva

    Piyush Jindal and Jar-Jar Palin are confused, there is no free speech issue here.

    December 19, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. SatiII

    I'm not sure i understand how Palin and Jindal jump in the swamp. They are neither black or gay. You can't defend disrespect.

    December 19, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    I'm so happy to hear Sarah Palin supports Free Speech!
    I'm watching MSNBC, CNN, & Fox 'News" right now.
    I'm sure she will be on any minute now, DEMANDING that
    Martin Bashir & Alec Baldwin be rehired, IMMEDIATELY!!!
    (HeHe! Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath!)

    December 19, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Hudson Valley Tim

    I agree that he should (and does) have the right to speak his mind. A&E is simply doing what they feel is necessary to head-off a backlash from their viewers. If he stays on the show, I'm sure that many viewers will vote-with-their-wallets. I'm not sure that it would make a whole lot of difference...their target demographic is the good ol' boy, who'll likely just nod their heads sayin' "Happy, Happy, Happy"

    December 19, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Big Jim

    Who is this Sarah? and what is a Duck Dynasty?

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

    Finally I can look forward to walking through Walmart and not see these rednecks looking at me from every other piece of merchandise!!!!!

    December 19, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Equality

    "The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with". Couldn't you say the same thing about Fox "News".

    December 19, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Whosure

    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?

    December 19, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. RobertD

    We live in a society where people are intellectually dishonest and spend all their time trying to redefine words instead of just engaging the debate.

    yes, when you fire someone over their opinions – that chills speech. It's not at that same level as when the government outlaws speech and creates criminal penalties – but it's still effective at shutting down opinion.

    To a certain extent, that's just life – I'm not saying this is anything new. I've worked at employers that would fire employees for having political bumper stickers on their cars.

    This duck dynasty guy has some opinions that would offend – I say, don't read his opinions then, why spend your time getting upset. It's the same if being gay upsets you – don't think about it then.

    December 19, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. DifrntDrmr

    Funny how Palin complains about free speech – her staff blocked me from commenting on her Facebook page. Hypocrite!

    December 19, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. griz5106

    Simplyput: I don't watch reality shows either, but would trust a television show before I trusted holy scripture.

    December 19, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. just asking

    a&e are a bunch of duplicitous blood suckers. they knew what they were getting with these guys and the show. to now act all high and might, pc correct is a total joke. using these guys to rake in millions was fine but the minute one says something politically incorrect, they fold like a cheap tent. and why? because of all of the left wing political hate groups, that why. they are the ones that pressure these companies into doing this sort of thing.

    December 19, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. Malory Archer


    Bashir said he wanted to crap and pee in plains mouth that is saying you want to cause harm to others. That is not protected speech.


    Yeah, except no, he didn't. He schooled her in the horrible abuses slaves were subjected to and asked how she would feel if the shoe were on the other foot and she was the one being tortured.

    December 19, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. jimbo

    Jindal and Palin are in the same boat as the Dynasty star – none of them really know the meaning of free speech!

    December 19, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Bikeryder

    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. Finally, if 6.5 billion people in the world have a position on "something" which differs from the majority of voters in the US, Congress, or Supreme Court then who is to say what is "correct".

    December 19, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Scott

    This is a debate between people who understand what freedom of speech really is and people who do not.

    You have the freedom of speech. That is a right. With rights come responsibilities and consequences.

    He has every right to say these things. But, in chosing to exercise that right, he will reap the consequences.

    December 19, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Reasonably

    And the Palin money making train hops on a new track.

    December 19, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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