A&E has decided to include all of the Robertson family in the filming of upcoming episodes of Duck Dynasty. This is an interesting decision for a number of reasons. First of all, cynics will complain that it is strictly about money. Well, it probably is–A&E is in business to make a profit. That is NOT a sin. Second of all, A&E ignored the wishes of the gay and lesbian community in making that decision. That tells me that although the gay and lesbian community is very vocal, very involved politically, and quite capable of making a lot of noise, they do not represent the vast majority of Americans. I am in full support of gay and lesbian people not being discriminated against, but I am also in full support of those who hold Biblical beliefs on the practice of homosexuality not being discriminated against. It’s a cliche` to say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” but that is what people who believe in the Bible need to do. I do not support laws that endorse the gay lifestyle (for instance, I support civil unions in order to allow gay couples to have access to the legal privileges they require, but I do not support gay marriage because I do not want to see Pastors in Bible-believing churches forced to perform those ceremonies). I have no problem with gay and lesbian people demanding respect, but they also need to extend that respect to those who disagree with their lifestyle.
This is the statement that A&E released (from NewsBusters):
As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.
That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.
So 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.
We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.
Phil Robertson has the right (as does any other American) to voice his opinion. Whether you agree with him or not, he is entitled to his opinion. A&E as a private employer also has the right to fire him because they feel he does not represent their views. He may not represent their views, but evidently he does represent the views of many Americans. That is why he still has a job.