A Little Rant to Explain Freedom of Speech

As you know every once in awhile a story comes across social media and every other news outlet and it forces me to abandon my blog schedule. This is one of those stories. I am sure by now all of you have heard about the Phil Robertson vs A & E debacle. For those of you who have not let me take a minute to fill you in.

In an interview with GQ Phil discussed his religious beliefs and while doing that he made some anti gay comments. One of the more spread around comments I have seen is:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” Phil says. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Because of these comments, A & E decided to suspend him from returning to his reality show Duck Dynasty. I have learned since this whole thing happened that apparently Duck Dynasty is one of the highest rated reality T.V shows and this Phil Robertson is the patriarch of the family. Now before I continue with this I will openly say that I have not seen the show and I would not miss him because I am not a show supporter but I do understand why die hard fans would be upset by this.

That being said. The uproar on the social media networks have infuriated me beyond belief. All I keep reading is “this is unfair. we need to protect his freedom of speech.” So I would like to take the opportunity to clarify exactly what freedom of speech is just for those who might be confused. Freedom of speech means you can say anything you would like to say without CRIMINAL ramifications. From my understanding that has held true in this case. No one is pressing charges. However, an employer has the right to suspend, punish or even fire someone if they represent the company in a light that they do not agree with.

For example, I remember when working in Disney we could get fired for simply not smiling while in uniform. This was not an illegal act. Plenty of people don’t smile day to day. But the Disney image was to be the happiest place on earth and Disney had the right to protect their image in any way they see fit.

Same goes here for A & E. If they do not want to tolerate remarks they feel are slanderous they have every right to take the action they see fit.

From my understanding Phil has gotten so much support from his fans that he will be reinstated to the show soon so all fans take heart, your show will go on. But please remember everyone has the right to their opinion but the employers also have the right to protect their image in any way they see fit. Before we jump on the network maybe we should commend them for sticking true to their belief system just like Phil stuck true to his own.

On that note hopefully we can all have a great holiday season with a little more clarity and a little less hate. Merry Christmas bloggers!

16 thoughts on “A Little Rant to Explain Freedom of Speech

  1. It seems that celebrities continually forget that they are employees. People who get paid ridiculous amounts of money need to remember where that money is coming from. A one hour show on a network can always be replaced.

    When a celebrity opens their mouth in public, they are speaking as a representative of their employer. They need to remember to speak responsibly.

    Well thought out and excellently done, Shae!

  2. Great post, Shae! I’m right on board with all you said. People often forget that even physical appearance affects your employability (is that a word?) I’d like to see more ‘celebrities’ lose their jobs over the stupid things they say!

  3. Faaaaaabulously expressed post, Shae!

    I’ve read about this incident briefly online and it’s funny, because even though I am gay, I took no offense over what this man said because I’ve heard that a thousand times. I’m comfortable with who I am, therefore, people can share their opinions and I know it’s just that – their opinions.

    True, he may have the right and freedom of speech to say what he is thinks, but his employers also have the right to speak out and stand by their image any way they see fit.

    Freedom of speech and rights, go both ways.

    Again, FAB post, girl!

    And MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!!!!!!!!


    • Thanks Ronnie! I was actually really interested to hear your stand on this and as always you are so poised and accepting. I don’t think I could be as resilient as you. I really don’t like when people express their opinions about others in such an ignorant fashion. I commend you for being you!

  4. I completely agree with you Shae. The network has every right to fire him. And I didn’t know you worked for Disney…I would love to see behind the scenes in the parks. We are heading there in April for our sixth trips with the kids – they can’t wait!

    • Yes I did work for Disney! It was awesome! I go there all the time with the fam and there are little secrets here and there I can pass on which make it all the more fun 🙂

  5. “However, an employer has the right to suspend, punish or even fire someone if they represent the company in a light that they do not agree with.”

    Exactly! If this clown wants to spew his hate-filled rants on his own time, fine. But he’s an employee of A&E and, as such, has to obey the company’s rules.

    And screw this “religious beliefs” crap! I’m a Christian and I completely reject this ignorant loser’s disgusting statements. Too many so-called “people of faith” use religion as a club to abuse others and than as a shield to protect themselves from criticism. To Hell with that!

    Now that I got that out of my system, Shae, let me wish you a belated Merry Christmas!

  6. People seem to forget that, though they have the right to say any stupid thing they want, others have equal right to call them on it. Our nation doesn’t seem to enjoy the concept of repercussions. The fact that A&E is bringing him back to the show pretty much epitomizes this. Now the Duck Douche knows that he can say anything / act anyway he wants with zero consequences. Wonderful. Can’t wait to hear what garbage falls next from his mouth. Or maybe we’ll get lucky and some god will smite him? That’d be AWESOME. *sigh*

    I do wonder, on an only slightly related note, if A&E executives are embarrassed in any way at the popularity of what seems to be an idiotic show marketed to ignorant dopes. Yeah, I know they are crying all the way to the bank, sure. Still, I can’t help but think, surely there MUST be a couple of depressed veeps who sob into their pillows at night, weeping for the sad, sad state of American pop culture. I mean, it’s pretty damn heartbreaking that the program is doing so well.

    • I am so glad someone else feels that way about this show! I didn’t want to rant about the show itself because I haven’t even watched a full commercial for it but the more I hear about it the more I have to agree with you! Why do people watch this?!! Its like Honey Boo Boo, I mean really people what is the fascination?!

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