December 27th, 2013
08:37 PM ET
9 years ago

Jindal praises ‘Dynasty’ reinstatement: Left doesn’t have ‘monopoly on free speech’

Updated 12/27/2013 at 9:31pm

(CNN) - Like many conservatives, Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal was happy to find out Friday that “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s suspension from the show had been lifted.

“I am glad to hear that the folks at A&E came to their senses and recognized that tolerance of religious views is more important than political correctness,” the possible 2016 presidential candidate said in a statement mere hours after the network announced its decision.

“Today is a good day for the freedoms of speech and religious liberty,” Jindal said.

Robertson had been briefly suspended from the reality show, which is filmed in Louisiana, over comments the “Dynasty” family patriarch made to GQ in the January issue of their magazine. Those comments included his belief that homosexuality is a sin, one he put in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. He also made controversial comments about race relations during his time growing up in the South.

A&E reversed its decision Friday after extensive backlash.

"After discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family," the network said in a statement.

Thousands signed petitions backing Robertson against A&E, with many on the right crying foul over a perceived assault on Robertson’s right to express his religious views in the name of “political correctness.”

"The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with," Jindal said in a statement last week.

Jindal was joined by other prominent conservatives in condemning the suspension. At the time, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin declared on Facebook 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.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz - another possible 2016 Republican presidential contender - also spoke out for Robertson last week.

In a Facebook post titled “Free Speech Matters,” Cruz wrote at the time that "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," he said.

After A&E reversed its decision, Cruz took to Twitter to celebrate:

In a later tweet Cruz wrote: “As PC enforcers often forget, tolerance is a two-way street. Welcome back, Phil.”

The head of the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition also spoke out in favor of the reversal after calling the initial suspension "a brazen act of anti-Christian bigotry."

Founder and chairman Ralph Reed said in a statement Friday that he was glad that A&E "came to their senses."

"Their rash suspension of Mr. Robertson threatened to destroy the most valuable franchise on cable television and alienate 40 million evangelical Christians in the process," Reed said.

"While Mr. Robertson used some admittedly ill-advised language in the interview, he said nothing that justified this punishment. He simply quoted the Bible in answering a question about his faith. We applaud A&E for taking this step and hope the network will never again take the bizarre step of sanctioning someone for expressing their Christian faith."

Friday, Jindal - who is term-limited and openly considering a presidential bid - blasted “the left” for trying to quiet Robertson.

“The left is going to have to get accustomed to the fact that it does not have a monopoly on free speech and is not the only group who is permitted to voice its opinion in the public square,” Jindal said.

“The left may control Hollywood, but they don’t control the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans.”

–CNN’s Dana Davidsen, Marlena Baldacci and Brian Stelter contributed to this report.

Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Louisiana
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Jindal just joined the ranks of the Palin "clan".

    December 28, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. brainiac

    A&E decided they liked making money... more than being told what to do by far left extremist groups.

    December 28, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Duck Dynasty? It certainly isn't TV at its best. Watch NOVA, Nature, or Masterpiece Theater instead on PBS TV for shows that challenge, nurture, and enlighten the intellect and soul.

    December 28, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. jane

    Mr. Jindal, like the majority of people who have been moaning about 'tolerance' and 'free speech', has not the slightest idea what the First Amendment actually applies to – it means the Government cannot abridge the people's right to speak out against it, or voice grievances. That's it. It DOES NOT MEAN that anyone can say anything, no matter how hateful or ignorant, and not have to deal with consequences. E.G., you have the right to say bigoted, ignorant or stupid stuff all you want, just as I have the right to call you out on your bigoted, ignorant or stupid stuff. I love it when people, esp. "Christians" cry about people not tolerating their intolerance. 😉

    December 28, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Honey Boo Boo will be a quest on Duck Dynasty's this season .

    I'm so glad , the South has quality Hollywood shows these days . Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal has done so much to bring the entertainment industry to New Orleans . There is nothing more interesting and entertaining then reality television from the redneck Riviera.

    December 28, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. RonL

    Is Governor Jindal really this IGNORANT about what the First Amendment really guarantees??? Does Governor Jindal realize that people in America are either fired or warned about what is allowed and not allowed to be said in the work environment? In the past I have personally been warned by my supervisor not to talk about matters of religion and politics while in the BUILDING. We just had two television personalities fired from their jobs in the last 4 weeks for expressing what they believe. I personally found what this old ignorant man said VERY OFFENSIVE, particularly the part about black people seeming "Happy" before the elimination of Jim Crow laws. He seems to have forgotten, that complaining about it was extremely dangerous to the complainers heath and could lead to them becoming a piece of "strange fruit" hanging from a tree. He and his family can keep the series, it is a reflection on America that it is s successful not them. A & E wants that MONEY, and as it has been said many times before the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.

    December 28, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. John

    Whatever irritates liberals is fine with me. I don't like them anymore than they like me and I won't tolerate them anymore than they'll tolerate me. So whatever makes them angry, bring more of it on.

    December 28, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Gt

    Happy happy go Phil ...great day for believers

    December 28, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Oliver Dyer

    As an African American, registered Democrat, Louisian, I too was happy about AE's decision to reinstate Phil. It is his right to be short sighted and totally wrong about gays and blacks. After all if he thinks blacks were happy living in the segregated south then he certainly is a man who has a very limited insight.

    December 28, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. workingwithu

    Nothing to do with freedom of speech. say what you like, however you should decide what you say concerning your views about other people while in conducting public shows.... Everyone has a right to how they feel, sometimes it's best kept in your comfortable home-LOL

    December 28, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. workingwithu

    Jindal, fix some of those poor highways, roads and streets in Louisiana, or allocate some money for the work to be done through out the state. Maybe our driving records will show better, resulting lowering our insurance premiums. That would help out a lot! This is my freedom of speech.

    December 28, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. Nameas nicka

    Big mistake A&E it's not right free speech doesn't means hate speech people are confusing.

    December 28, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Shelia

    The left always has a way about them to jump the shark..The left shows more and more their extreme out of touch views.

    December 28, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Shelia

    The far left extreme doesn't believe people should have freedom of religion and speech. It would be best for the democrats to drop such extreme part of there supporters.

    December 28, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. rs

    Be careful GOP, by supporting Mr. Robertson over his employer- someone might think you support worker's rights… we wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about you guys, right?

    December 28, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. whatever1784

    They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...
    He was suspended for economic reasons and BROUGHT BACK for ECONOMIC reasons!

    more like change to do do-do bird. these guys always say they are economically smarter but teyre using the cree speech argument here. no wonder they cant get anything done to help the country.

    December 28, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Yeah!

    I have personally never watched Duck Dynasty. But I'm totally stoked that the MINORITY Liberal idiots had to eat this one - best of luck going forward, Duckies!

    December 28, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. bilk7

    The left may not have "monopoly on free speech" but the right sure do have a monopoly on ignorance and hate.

    December 28, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. Jill

    When potential presidential candidates are even uttering the words "Duck Dynasty," it speaks volumes about our sad state of affairs.

    December 29, 2013 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  20. len


    Excellent. .. could not have said it any better!!

    December 29, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  21. Colorado

    I can't believe how many people fell for this publicity stunt.

    December 29, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  22. don in albuquerque

    Wanna see a duck drown? Organize against their advertisers, and advertisers on A&E. They will drop them like a bad habit.

    December 29, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  23. just saying

    don in albuquerque
    Wanna see a duck drown? Organize against their advertisers, and advertisers on A&E. They will drop them like a bad habit.
    not as long as they have the best show on cable with several million viewers/potential customers. your union thug tactics won't work.

    December 29, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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