The folks at GLAAD are not pleased with A&E’s decision to lift Phil Robertson’s suspension from Duck Dynasty. The network suspended the head of the Robertson family “indefinitely” after he made remarks about homosexuality in a GQ interview that many perceived to be anti-gay. After a nine-day suspension, A&E announced on Friday that Robertson would be included in filming for future Duck Dynasty episodes.
After GLAAD first heard of Robertson’s comments in the interview, which included calling homosexuality a sin and comparing a woman’s vagina to a man’s anus, the group asked A&E to consider severing their ties with the duck hunter. “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,” GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said.
Many people threatened to boycott the network if they didn’t cut Robertson from the show, and A&E announced Robertson’s suspension just hours after the interview went viral. The following tweet was posted to GLAAD’s Twitter account shortly after the announcement was made:
— GLAAD (@glaad) December 19, 2013
As it turned out, there were quite a few people unhappy with A&E’s decision to suspend Robertson–more than one million people joined a Facebook page to support the man, and a petition was started asking A&E to bring Robertson back that received thousands of signatures. Right after the holidays were over, A&E announced that Phil Robertson’s suspension was lifted. The network was quick to say that they didn’t share Robertson’s views, but brought him back since he made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.”
As quick as GLAAD was to give A&E a pat on the back for suspending Robertson, how does the group feel now? Not “happy, happy, happy,” that’s for sure. Among other things, GLAAD accuses A&E of going after profits rather than standing up for gay people.
“Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists,” GLAAD said in a statement. “If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A&E has chosen profits over African American and gay people—especially its employees and viewers.”
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