Nobody did wrong in ‘Duck Dynasty’ kerfuffle
by H.B. Koplowitz
Odd as it may seem, nobody did anything wrong in the “Duck Dynasty” kerfuffle.
Drew Magary did nothing wrong by writing an excellent profile for GQ magazine on Phil Robertson, the 67-year-old outdoorsman, entrepreneur, evangelist and reality TV star of the wildly popular series “Duck Dynasty.” Aptly titled “What the Duck?,” the profile was funny as well as revealing, and mostly sympathetic toward the redneck ethos of hunting, family values and Bible thumping.
Robertson did nothing wrong to hold and express his ignorant, redneck, homophobic, racist views. Some may argue that “ignorant redneck” is redundant, but not every redneck is ignorant, and neither is Phil Robertson. He just happens to have some ignorant views on race and sexuality. But who doesn’t have an ignorant view on something?
In terms of Nielsen families, “Duck Dynasty” is A&E’s highest rated show, and is often described as the most popular show on cable TV. The cable network did nothing wrong to attempt damage control on its golden duck by distancing itself from Robertson’s offensive remarks and “suspending” him from the show, at least until next season’s shooting begins, pun intended.
Over the weekend, supposedly post-suspension, A&E went ahead with its “Duck Dynasty” marathon, and like a lot of people, I tuned in for the first time. A cross between “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “The Beverly Hillbillies,” with folksy humor, hunting parties and prayer at the dinner table, there’s nothing wrong with the show, at least by reality TV standards.
The family did nothing wrong by standing by their man, and neither did Sarah Palin and others who hold the same ignorant views. It was downright refreshing to hear conservatives stand up for freedom of expression, or any amendment to the Constitution other than the second.
The LGBT community did nothing wrong to use Robertson’s homophobic slurs as a teachable moment, while the black community mostly ignored his antebellum observations regarding the good ole days of Jim Crow. It’s hardly worth responding to those who believe blacks preferred being second-class citizens, or that gay people are going to hell because the Bible tells them so. Suffice it to say they are on the wrong side of history.
The media did nothing wrong — or at least out of character — to turn the story into another episode of “Culture Wars,” while ignoring more pressing news like the deteriorating situations in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Central African Republic and other hotspots around the world. And Americans of all political stripes did nothing wrong to take to social media to express their own views on whether Phil Robertson has a right to make a fool of himself.
Maybe the bottom line was best expressed by Magary in his GQ profile: “If you can’t reconcile some of the things Phil says with his otherwise friendly demeanor — perhaps because you are gay, or a duck — I don’t blame you.”