I’m not here to defend nor decry the Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson for his comments on homosexuality that are going to appear in the January issue of GQ. I offer some thoughts from 25, 000 feet for you to ponder and comment on. Go ahead and tell me what you think…

  • For those of you who are outraged – why? Is this a shock that a 65-year old conservative white man in the Deep South feels this way? Is it because of his celebrity status? If he doesn’t affect your life personally, move on. Nobody is forcing you to watch the show or buy the merchandise. The idolization of anyone whose visage appears on television is crazy. The fact that someone is on a television show shouldn’t mean that they have to believe everything you do; that their opinions are always right; or that you should buy the deodorant they use. I’m guessing GQ reached out to Phil Robertson, not the other way around.
  • For those of you appalled about his first amendment rights violation – relax and get over it. His rights weren’t violated. His comments haven’t landed him in jail or led to brutal torturing (a common result in other countries….just saying). His right to speak his opinion wasn’t illegal. His employer has the same right to suspend him for his comments, though. He’s not been fired and I doubt he will. Employees are reprimanded every day for poor behavior and things they did that might have led to embarrassment for their employers.
  • Step back for a second and reign in any emotions you have about this. I don’t think this issue is really about homosexuality, politics, agendas, or social mores. As soon as this news hit, the social media sphere imploded. Twitter, Facebook, and newspaper blogs were going nuts. People from all over the planet were weighing in with their opinions, diatribes, rage, support, and all emotions in between. It carries on still today. If you subscribe to the premise that there is no “bad” publicity, especially when it comes to the entertainment industry, then consider this. As popular as Duck Dynasty is, everyone now knows about it. I mean everyone. People who may have never heard of the show before; people who don’t own televisions; people who wouldn’t have given two cents about a family of duck call makers who hit the big time. A&E (the network) has immediately “suspended” Robertson and said all the right things. Yet in the end, aren’t they as a minor cable player when compared to their competition, having more people talk about them as ever before? I’m not a conspiracy theorist, yet I am saying that provocation and debate fueled in today’s “real-time” age are powerful. They’ve all become an object of interest. Polarity in this industry is king…nobody cares about the middle road (sounds sort of like politics, yet I digress). Don’t be surprised when Duck Dynasty ratings go up. Don’t be surprised that some “resolution” occurs in the next 30 days and keeps the debates going (current events seem to die off faster than they did 30 years ago because a new event will soon happen to knock the old one off the stage). A&E, Duck Dynasty, GQ and everyone involved with the program and this article that won’t even be out for a month just got a big boost of media attention. For main street to Fortune 500 businesses, this attention might be bad to disastrous. For the entertainment industry that thrives on and fights for market share and public attention, well….

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved



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