Opinion

Report: A&E was present during 'Duck Dynasty' star's interview, but didn't condemn comments

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Duck Dynasty,Television,Gay rights

Does A&E's decision to suspend "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson over his comments about homosexuality demonstrate the company's moral probity and good judgment?

"Someone from A&E was there and was aware of the kind of answers Phil was giving," the Daily Mail quotes a source close to the family as saying.

"But despite that, they didn’t ever try to stop it or control it. Instead, they let it hit the headlines and then released a statement condemning it. It is our belief that they knew what was going to happen and then used the situation to exercise control over Phil."

The source suggests that A&E wants to make the Robertsons downplay religion in the show. "We believe they were also uncomfortable with the family’s insistence that there would be a strong religious presence in the show," the source also says. "They knew Phil was the driving force behind this and we think they have used this situation to bring him in line so they could steer the show back down the path they originally intended for it."

When GLAAD called for Robertson's firing, it explained why his termination was necessary. "Phil's decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families," spokesman Wilson Cruz said.

So, the dissemination of Robertson's opinions is the crime because of the harm that can be caused by allowing someone else to hear them.

In that case, if an A&E rep was present during the interview and didn't try to prevent the publication of Robertson's remarks — didn't even condemn them until after GQ ran the interview and a public relations storm developed — then perhaps GLAAD should see, in A&E, a company just as guilty as Robertson, but more hypocritical.

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