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!