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. Rudy NYC

    Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. Was GQ interviewing Mr. Robertson, or the star of "Duck Dynasty"?

    December 19, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |

    Someone can say what they want

    December 19, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Leslie Song

    Oh and all this nonsense about 'activist liberal groups' like that is a dirty word. Really? Like the people who brought you worker rights, the 5 day week, health insurance, public schools you don't have to pay for, civil rights, voting rights? Those liberals,. Yeah, I'll keep those liberals by me – and you can keep people like Jindal who seem to think that the right to slander, hurt, fuel violence against anybody you don't like, and cover America in bigotry, ignorance, and hate is a right given by god and that anybody who demands civility and sanity is a liberal activist – whatever they think they mean by that, trying to rewrite history – Well good – then I am an activist and proud of it. If people were ranting on about people of his background he would not be so supportive. I guess he thinks the likes of that duck guy would be his pal, be on his side. I DOUBT IT.

    December 19, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Ron in SC

    Of course Palin and Jindal would support the guy plus bigotry and racism is part of the agenda of the GOP/Tea Party.

    December 19, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. catmomtx


    It's interesting to me how Paula Dean and Phil Robertson get scrutinized for saying their opinion and major backlash but Kanye West can talk all day long and we still have to see his sorry face every day. Blurred Lines.

    Oh for goodness sakes! People are free to say whatever they want to say and other people do not have to like it. This has nothing to do with your free speech and everything to do with the producers of the show and whoever owns the station. By the way, the Dixie Chicks were severely reprimanded by the Bush administration and his supporters for something they said. If you say something in public and people don't like it, you have to be prepared to accept the consequences.

    December 19, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Daniel reynolds

    duck dynasty was based on gods religion and thier belief to be religous god can only judge people can choose what they believe its not peoples right to judge or condemn him or gays or blacks were all the same as i love all people unless they want to hurt others especially america such as snowdwn but religion will always be controvercial & maybe the tv should mind thier own business on anyones belief america gives us the freedom to believe gay people have that same right but i know another station would love to have this show as well as i love the music of elton john.a&e is stupid the family should stick behind what he said & also what he said afterwords about liking all people but god wiill judge unless you want the bible changed or condemned hes only qouting what gods angels didto two cities not mans doing man can not condemn any other mans ways & all races are the same we all live then die we all should get along in the world to but thats not reality . look for cratures in outer space & if we find them will only fight.

    December 19, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Malory Archer


    Someone can say what they want


    And their employer can kick them to the curb if they want.

    December 19, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. simplyput

    I don't know anyone who watches reality shows but I do know people who trust holy scripture; never confuse the two.

    December 19, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Tricia

    Bobby Jindal makes himself look like more of an ass than he already is. To comment on such stupidity shows where he concentrates his time on, instead of helping his state's economy and with Palin chiming in on anything just proves how pathetic this man is and even more pathetic for people to watch his trash and the rest of the trashy crew.

    December 19, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. RF

    This is turning out to be the usual media circus. First the guy has the right to speak his mind. He did not threaten anyone. Second A&A is protecting itself from the potential loss of sponsorship that might occur if the public becomes up in arms about this issue
    People need to get a grip and realize free speech is the issue here and i agree this is becoming so blown out of proportion it is alarming. I bet most gays are laughing this off as being in the stupid comment category and they realize this will not hurt them in any way. Give it a break people , calm down and go about your daily business. Nothing important to see here!

    December 19, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. rrrlll

    of course they defend duck dude...not sure why "the blacks" (sarcasim) are upset? you can't say anything you want at work... Kanye – he can't/won't fire himself

    December 19, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. CryBabies

    I guess thin skinned PCers are all around us. I'm surprised we have not heard from the reverend Al Sharpton yet. Its coming soon to a MSLSD station near you.

    December 19, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. peavey

    "Simply put, Phil Robertson is being censored and punished for quoting the Bible, "

    get serious.

    Here's what Phil said it is NOWHERE in the bible:

    Phil continues, "It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. "

    Phil threw the first punch.

    December 19, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Steve

    Ms. Palin and other dummy this isn't about the first amendment, its about a corporation not liking the attention one of its employee's has brought them. He is not in jail for saying these things and there isn't a law against it however I challenge anyone reading this to try using those exact same words at work and see how well it goes over.

    December 19, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. lean6

    I don't care what kind of heat you're facing, when that opportunistic troll Palin climbs into the spotlight with you, things can only get worse. She's always looking for a fire to pour gasoline on.

    December 19, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. peavey


    Someone can say what they want"


    That does NOT mean they SHOULD.
    and it may come with some down-side risk.

    December 19, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Wayne Rizor

    Whenever a public figure speaks out on an issue that is inflammatory they need to have their head examined. Particularity so if they are also business persons because they instantly divide their consumer audience there by losing customers. You can be assured this will have a ripple effect through their game call business. Personal beliefs are best kept to yourself as Robertson is now finding out. This has absolutely nothing to do with his freedom of speech as is being talked about. He has not been prevented from speaking his mind nor will he be in the future, but there is a cost to free speech and he is now being held accountable for airing his beliefs.

    December 19, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. tom l

    This is what Phil Robertson said about race:

    "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word! … Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly. They were happy. No one was singing the blues"


    What did he say that was so offensive?

    December 19, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. Jimmy

    I hope the rest of the Duck Dynasty make similar statements and back Phil up so they all get suspended, and eventually the show cancelled. I look forward to watching their new show, Duck Empire, on another, more freedom of speech and religion friendly channel. Considering the millions these guys make for A&E, I'm sure their competition is already on the phone with the guys.

    December 19, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. ZapTheSheep

    I hope A&E's ratings tank during the suspension. I do not agree with Phil's opinion, but that is his opinion and he is welcome to it. I shall not watch the program, new or repeat, until he is allowed back on the program.

    December 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @critical thinking
    The man is a hugely successful multi millionaire who speaks what he believes. If you don't agree, too bad.
    The new Christian Conservative slogan: "I got mine – screw you." Not exactly a Bible quote, is it.

    December 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. dick delson

    Sarah Palin just might be the dumbest person on the planet. She is really a loud mouth idiot who cost John McCain the election

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

    Why is this unfair? He made statements that the television network that PAY's him doesn't agree with. They have EVERY right to terminate him. Let him seek employment elsewhere. Maybe a different network that shares his same, however twisted beliefs.

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

    First, I am surprised it was Phil not Si that got kicked off for something. Second, Jindal and Palin are a bunch of hypocrites that demanded others be fired for saying things about them. Feel free to look it up! They are just trying to get back into the spotlight and they are using the Robertson family as their pawns to do so. What do you feel like now Phil? A pawn for haters?

    December 19, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Buzz Killington

    For anyone spouting "Free Speech" or "1st Amendment", it shows how ill-informed people are. Free speech applies to Government interference in speech. It does not mean your private employer cannot fire you because you say something you don't like.

    Almost all work is at-will and your employer can fire you for any reason they want (excluding discrimination). You better believe there is a morals clause in their contract. A&E is completely free to do what they want.

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