There is an expression that we all have heard. It goes, “Kids say the darndest things”. It comes from a popular feature with the same name in Art Linkletter’s radio show House Party and television series, Art Linkletter’s House Party, which together aired from 1945 to 1969. The premise of the show is simple: the host would ask a question to a child (around the age of 3 to 8) who would usually respond in a “cute” way.
Recently, Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, said some things in a GQ magazine interview which got him suspended by the executives of the show’s network, A&E. While not considered “cute” by the LGBT community and allies such as the NAACP, the remarks(which are understandably deemed offensive by many people) reflect the man and his background. The same network executives who are now falling all over themselves to disavow the leader of the family of their only true break-out hit(and doing so faster then the Secretary would disavow the Mission: Impossible IMF force if any of the members were caught or killed) apparently were well aware of Mr. Robertson’s views and tried to get him to tone them down or not speak them in front of the press.
Americans seem split on the issue of whether Mr. Robertson’s comments warrant “suspending” and or removing him from a show which is about him and his family. It seems that politicians and special interest groups are lining up along political lines regarding his beliefs and his right to air them in a public forum as well as whether he should be allowed to be on television. Some newspapers such as the LA Times see it as an excuse to end what they call, trailer trash television; while others see it as a vindication that what he said is popular sentiment among American people.
There is another phrase that we all know: “Words have consequences.” Phil Robertson knows this since he does possesses a master’s degree in education and accepts it; A&E is learning this and is running for cover though the television and movie industry has seen many examples of this type of situation; and the general public gets some more Jerry Springer-quality entertainment to fill its airwaves, newspapers and social media.