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. carlos

    I have the right to not watch this show if I don't like the comments. A&E has the right to try to keep me as a viewer.

    December 19, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Dan, Colorado

    As of today, I have suspended A&E from our TVs ! I have also sent an e-mail to my cable provider to suspend A&E from their line-up until Phil Robertson is brought back. Phil has been unfairly targeted for speaking the truth as he sees it, not conforming with the politically correct mainstream media and standing up for his religious beliefs. Weather I agree or not has no bearing on the issue. If he had the completely opposite view and was also targeted (not likely) I would feel the same way. I'm headed out to buy my sons each a Duck Commander Duck call but, I will not buy anything that says Duck Dynasty on it so A&E will not profit from their poor decision. A&E is a "Piece of Junk, .......JACK ! "

    December 19, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. conniesz

    The First Amendment only enjoins the government from surpressing speech – it has absolutely nothing to do with a private entity determining for itself what is and is not proper speech conduct for people who represent that private entity. Clearly these bozos don't have a clue.

    December 19, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Shadow

    :et's see what the Duck Dynasty Star has to say about the new flap with India and Indians, over the search of Devyani Khobragade and the whole illegal gays thing.
    I'm sure he'll side with India in some way that both mocks gays and Indian people in general, like "See, even THOSE people see that homosexuality is wrong, so..""Dank yu very much". Along with "She shouldn't be a Deplomay anyway, she should be cooking a meal at home and tending kids."
    I'm sure Bobby Jindal wouln't be siding very quickly, though Palin, as clueless, as she is, would find some way to say the D.D. Star is supporting Soccer Moms. lol

    December 19, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Trasker

    When you are paid by advertisers, and you say stuff publically that deflects market share, you will lose your job.
    Just ask Bible Spice about that certainty.

    December 19, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    Well, that did it for me.
    The show just lost another fan.

    This show just got another fan. He has the guts to say what most Americans think. But these whining liberals and there Political Correctness are hypocrites. Funny where was the outrage when OBama lied to the country. You liberals supported him , but let anyone else say anything and wham.

    December 19, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Dave thewave

    No one is making people like Sara Palin or Phil Robertson accept homosexuality as part of their religious belief system. However, if people think their religious beliefs makes it acceptable for them to discriminate against gay people in the work place, in renting a place to live, in applying for employment, then they will pay a price.

    December 19, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. SlowGun

    Sarah needs to stop trying to make herself rellavent's over.

    Phil has the right to say and feel whatever he wants. But freedom of speech doesn't come with freedom of consequences. A&E has a right to protect their brand.
    Go ahead and say whatever you want Phil, but don't expect to not have to face the music if something you say ticks off your employer.

    December 19, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Laverne

    Why is it Sarah Palin never have anything to say or contribute unless it is something controversial or petty??? This woman is a disgrace and John McCain should would have made a horrible president with an embarrassment like Sarah Palin by his side.

    December 19, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Nunya

    Okay, so he made those comments. Seeing that one of his grandson's is part Black, last I checked everyone had the right to their on opinion. This is one of those situations where Mr. Robertson should have shown a little more restraint.

    December 19, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Hey screeching bimbo and mr Mardi gras, freedom of speech is what allows you and your teaklan party to lie and insult by proxy.
    Never watched the show but is anyone really surprised?

    December 19, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Tanker

    Isn't it great to know that Palin is standing up for an American's right to hate whole classes of individuals?

    Of course, I'm still waiting for her to state her position on unwed mothers, drunk drivers and people who quit positions of trust when a better job comes along.

    December 19, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. bassman

    Liberals are all for free speech... as long as they agree with the speech.

    December 19, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Nunya

    Oh and Palin?? Needs to stay out of it. She can't resist chiming in on something that has NOTHING to do with her. Go hunt an Elk or something. Louisiana is not your jurisdiction.

    December 19, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Mike Wallace

    Once again demonstrating that conservatives are completely clueless about the US Constitution and hate individual liberty and corporate rights.

    December 19, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Sergie Kent

    The progressive's absurdity now being floated is that this is not an abrogation of free speech. Not at all. You still have a right to say what you want but now you have to accept the "consequences" of the reaction to what you said. HELLO?? So go ahead. Say what you want. That is your "right." But if you get arrested, fined, fired, assaulted, lynched, or more commonly have your career or livelihood destroyed for sharing your personal opinion, that's now okay, because it turns out that your opinion is "deeply offensive" to certain social groups? That is not "Freedom of Speech." Not even close. Particularly when those being "offended" and therefore now have some "right" to destroy you, only include a select subset of the population. Deeply offending all the rest of the population is apparently sill perfectly okay. WTF??

    December 19, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Malory Archer

    Tommy G

    Why doesn't A&E ask the viewers of Duck Dynasty what they think of the remarks?


    Because the viewers aren't the ones paying the bills – the SPONSORS are, and the network is just protecting those sponsors' shareholders. Remember, in America $$$ is king.

    December 19, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    The Bible was written by men and rewritten by men countless times, each time to suit their own political purposes. It all started with the First Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. Like everyone else, I pick and choose from it what I want to believe – and my experience of God just isn't as narrow, hateful, insecure and intolerant as that of the Quitta, Bobby and the LA ducks.
    Yes. Outstanding post. Thank you.

    December 19, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. renobill

    Read all the comments, and think Kieran has it right. He can say anything he wants, but the network can fire him if they want.

    December 19, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Dann-Oh

    This is funny to me only because I have never seen the show, but from what I have seen of the commercials for it, I thought it was about a society of gay duck hunters.

    December 19, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Denise

    Thank goodness Phil has the support now of Palin! That will really help him!

    December 19, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Jim

    Yes, I remember Palin's first amendments rights controversy. She put nineteen members of congress's picture on the internet with a bull-eye on them. In less than 15 seconds there were six dead and thirteen wounded. Palin crawled back to Alaska. When ask about it she denied it, John McCain said – just as Jindel said – it was her first amendment right. When ask what he thought about it Johnny Isakson from Georgia said – well gee I don't know about that but she sure electrifies a campaign. Remember Adolph and Eva also electrified a campaign. Not much difference between Palin-McCain and Adolph and Eva.

    December 19, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. B

    Whether or not you agree with what Phil Robertson said in his interview, he was asked his opinion on what sin is.
    @Pat I totally agree. Phil didn’t claim any of this was a representation of A&E. @A True Conservative I couldn’t agree more. He was simply stating his opinion, one that is obviously not popular among society. Phil also offered other words in the interview saying, “we never, ever judge someone”. Did mainstream media lock onto those words though? No. Did they point fingers at the adulterers, idolaters, prostitutes, greedy, drunks, slanderers and swindlers he mentioned as well? Nope. Because those things are in compliance with society- everyone agrees it’s wrong to be one of those; that’s among the popular vote.

    December 19, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Denise

    Duck Dynasty and ACA, great analogy! lol

    December 19, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Sam

    "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."

    The First Amendment limits the GOVERNMENT'S ability to restrict free speech, assembly, religious practices, etc. I'm surprised a governor doesn't know that.

    December 19, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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