According to a NY Post story, “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson has long been known for his anti-gay statements and the now-infamous GQ interview where he made some negative comments about gays and how homosexuality is a sin is nothing short of A&E throwing him under the bus.
Said the story: “Robertson’s opinions about gays and religion were so widely known, in fact, that members of his family are accusing the A&E network of ‘hanging him out to dry’ — setting up an inflammatory interview with GQ magazine just so they could punish him…The sources claim that not only has the network exploited the controversy to throw the conservative family under the bus, but that it could have prevented the whole fiasco from the get-go. An A&E representative was with Robertson, 67, during his GQ chat and easily could have pulled the plug before his comments about gays became public.”
Sick of the Robertsons and their Christian beliefs, liberal television execs at A&E manipulated the situation to control the Louisiana family, the Daily Mail reported, quoting sources within the clan.
“You have to ask yourself why this interview happened and why it ever became public. Someone from A&E was there and was aware of the kind of answers Phil was giving,” one source said. “But despite that, they didn’t ever try to stop it or control it. Instead, they let it hit the headlines and then released a statement condemning it…The source also pointed out that the whole premise of the reality show — from the network’s perspective, at least — was mocking the conservative Southerners it depicted. When the TV executives came up with the concept for the show, they wanted it to be a case of people laughing at a bunch of backward rednecks,” the source said. “But when it didn’t turn out like that and people actually started identifying with the way the family behaved and were laughing with them, not at them, they became uncomfortable. It did not sit well with the New York TV types.”
Meanwhile, Robertson spoke at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, LA 12/22 following a Bible study group where he defended his remarks: “I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater…I will not give or back off from my path,” he said in his 45-minute speech, according to MailOnline.
RBR-TVBR observation: It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would A&E execs ambush their top-rated cable show by allowing the interview to run as it did? Our guess is they just didn’t realize that Robertson’s GQ statements would be taken the way that they were. He did not really equate bestiality with homosexuality as has been reported. He mentioned they were both sins, but not that they were one in the same. Like the NY Post story said, most people already know Robertson’s Christian views and it was a given he’d talk about them. We think A&E—and GQ—just didn’t pay enough attention to details—and the ramifications–of the interview before it ran. Money is the motivator here and if they lose this show and more advertisers than Cracker Barrel (although its store is still selling some Duck Dynasty merchandise), someone is going to be in hot water.