Join Me in Thanking A&E for Firing Phil Robertson
Would you join me in thanking A&E for firing Phil Robertson for sharing his personal views on sexuality?
I know many are upset over this decision to fire one of the most popular television personalities in history for simply sharing his religious beliefs when asked. But I want to take a moment and thank A&E for doing so.
While others are sharing viral images, meme’s and signing petitions demanding A&E reverse their decision to punish Phil Robertson, I am going to thank A&E.
Sure, a savvy business person might have looked back on last year’s attempt to “boycott” Chick-Fil-A and realized it was an epic failure and thought for a moment before “firing” the Patriarch of televisions most popular show. But not A&E. They promptly listened to the tiny group of angry voices – the same voices that thought it was a good idea to boycott Chick-Fil-A – and decided to alienate the millions of Duck Dynasty viewers instead. For that I want to thank them.
Just to the be clear, the attempt to boycott Chick-Fil-A resulted in a rally of support rarely, if ever seen, for a restaurant. Chick-Fil-A set one day, one week, and one month sales records, gained nationwide publicity, secured a base of lifetime customers, and made a ton of money. Those calling for a boycott looked so foolish that no one dared step forward to say it was their idea. But I guess no one at A&E remembered that and decided it was a good idea to fire one of the star’s of cable televisions most watched show. And I want to thank A&E for doing so.
Why do I want to thank A&E? (And want you to join me in thanking them.) I’ll tell you why!
Thanks to GQ Magazine and A&E, the duck calling, gun-toting, Bible-believing Robertson family is now the most powerful family in all of television.
I don’t know anything being a television executive, but apparently I could be one (or play one on t.v.). Those geniuses at A&E were duped into believing they could somehow purge the Christian out of the Robertsons and their mega-hit show by firing Phil. They no doubt thought it would “send a message” to the Robertsons and that the family would back down from talking about their religious convictions. A&E actually thought this move would give them leverage. Instead, they gave the Robertsons all the power because the Robertsons are real Christians, with real convictions that they are are unwilling to compromise.
The backlash against A&E, their sponsors, and anyone else that believes Phil Robertson should be fired for his comments has been the most incredible I’ve ever seen. Nearly every post on my Facebook and Twitter feed is in support of Phil Robertson. A Facebook page calling for a boycott of A&E reached over 1 million “likes” in less than one day. Every article in my news reader about Duck Dynasty has tens of thousands of hits. A&E has just committed business suicide and one of the most colossal marketing blunders of all time.
People are partly angry for the fact that people like Bill Maher, Piers Morgan, and Ed Schultz can say anything they want on national television and no one bats an eye. They criticize and ridicule Christians, pro-lifers, and conservatives. They degrade women. They are allowed to say anything with immunity while a man sharing his personal beliefs when asked about them is fired for doing so. The irony and injustice has become too much.
Let’s put this in perspective. Duck Dynasty is the only show most people watch on A&E. The channel is largely irrelevant. The millions of viewers of Duck Dynasty helped bring in untold millions (billions?) in marketing ad sales and revenue. Somehow A&E didn’t realize that those millions of people were also gun-toting, Bible-believing folks who agree with most (if not everything) the Robertsons believe and say. And the “experts” at A&E decided to tick off those millions of viewers in order to capitulate to a couple of irritated homosexuals at GLAAD. Brilliant!
The result is that the Robertsons have issued a statement of intent which says:
“We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of ‘Duck Dynasty.’”
Congratulations A&E, your most popular show, along with all its viewers and advertisers are about to walk away.
You see, A&E thought the Robertsons were some hick family that talks a good talk but doesn’t know how to walk the walk. A&E thought the Robertsons could be pressured and intimidated with money like many others. But the Robertsons are a real family that believes in God and family before other things, like money. This fact is why so many millions of Americans love Duck Dynasty and the picture portrayed by the Robertsons. So what A&E thought was leverage they could use to pressure the Robertsons into doing what they wanted, turned out to be leverage for the Robertsons to do exactly what they wanted: talk about ducks, guns, and God – anywhere they want.
One of two things will now happen. Either A&E will come running to the Robertsons with their tail tucked between their legs begging the family to stay and promising to reinstate Phil and apologize. Or, the Robertsons will walk away from A&E only to be welcomed with open arms by nearly every other network on television; which will reduce A&E’s ratings to the same levels as CNN and NBC. Ewww.
So please, join me in saying thank-you to A&E for making the Robertsons the most powerful people on television and ensuring that Duck Dynasty will be the greatest show on television for a long time. Those folks at A&E may not have a clue as to how to run a successful cable network, but they sure do know how to lose millions of viewers while showing they don’t know the American people at all.
Just like the people that thought they could successfully boycott Chick-Fil-A, Americans have once again made it clear that free speech and religious freedom do matter. Sharing our personal religious convictions is a sacred right in America. The ability to disagree over those convictions is also a sacred right. The ability to disagree without fear of reprisal is a constitutional right. Unfortunately that is one memo A&E did not get and it’s about to cost them dearly.
For further perspective on this story, here’s a list of articles from various sources:
The Hollywood Reporter: “Duck Storm”
The Daily Caller: “Petition Defends Duck Dynasty Star Over Vagina Comments”
Alliance Alert: “A&E Ducks from Protecting Its Dynasty Stars’ Free Speech”
Citizenlink: “Duck Dynasty is Controversial? So if the Gospel”
Family Research Council: “Tony Perkins Discusses Duck Dynasty with GLAAD”