Did you know Duck Dynasty is still on the air? The 8th season is premiering on June 24th with little to no opposition. Last year liberal groups grabbed their pitch forks and lit their torches when cast member Phil Robertson made anti-gay remarks. Like me you probably recall your Facebook newsfeed being full of angry cries for cancelation. While the show was taken of the air it wasn’t cancelled. A&E apparently pulled the show for several months to let all the controversy die down because they realized that in the age of the Outrage Movement the wrath of the internet is forgotten about as quickly as it is started. Everyone who was so angry last year has moved on and probably doesn’t even realize that the show is continuing without permanent damage.
Personally I don’t think the show should’ve been cancelled. Obviously I don’t agree with Robertson’s opinions but one man’s views shouldn’t sink the whole ship. In fact I was kind of surprised when everyone was outraged about what he said. He is an elderly man who has grown up in the backwoods swamps of Louisiana. I might be a little prejudice but that doesn’t exactly lend itself to a progressive world view. Honestly were you really surprised he was an anti-gay conservative? Duck Dynasty is a conservative show with a very large conservative audience. Like most Republican’s, just because I think he’s an out-of-touch small minded relic doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the right to be honest about what he thinks. This is especially true when the remarks have nothing to do with the show he’s on. Duck Dynasty has nothing to do with gay people and I doubt the family regularly sits around discussing civil rights on camera. In reality he’s not doing anyone direct harm other than being mean. Why should I care that he doesn’t like us? If the show featured the family members engaged in hate crimes or setting up conversion camps then I would definitely want it pulled from the air permanently. But as it stands it was just an interview off camera where a conservative man talked about his conservative views. In the sarcastic words of Miranda Priestly, “Groundbreaking.”
I’ve always liked television and I used to love the show Murphy Brown. I still hope a cable network will bring the reruns back. For those who are unfamiliar, the show centered on the title character who was a liberal loudmouth news reporter. I remember one episode where Murphy was going to do a controversial interview on the fictional FYI news program. I don’t remember the exact details but the segment was in danger of being pulled because conservative family groups were going to boycott and advertisers were pulling out. In the end the interview aired because one business owner didn’t believe in censorship despite the fact that he personally didn’t agree with Brown’s views. While the story was pure fiction it did reflect the trend of the conservative boycotts that were very common in the early 90’s. Back then many conservative groups used boycotts as a way of censoring topics they didn’t like. I’m a little disappointed to see that liberal groups are now using the same tactic. “It’s ok for us to do it because we’re right.” is never a good defense. It’s like your mom telling you to do something because she said so. If I want to be able to watch grown men in dresses compete for a crown and $100,000 then it’s only fair to let conservatives watch shows about other crazy conservatives. This isn’t exactly a free speech issue because no one is being criminally persecuted however the ideals of free speech come into play. Free speech doesn’t have a kindness clause. Truly believing in free speech means that you are willing to stand up for someone’s right to say something you hate.