Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Robertsons of "Duck Dynasty" UPDATED

The whole world has no doubt heard how the Arts and Entertainment network has fired Phil Robertson, the patriarch of "Duck Dynasty," for saying what every Christian should believe regarding sexual morality in a straightforward manner. He may no longer appear on A&E. I got the story from John C. Wright, who posted the actual commentary that got Phil fired, rather than any of the libelous or slanderous things falsely attributed to him. I can readily believe that Pat Archbold is right about what A&E wanted: a reasonable facsimile of "The Real Beverly Hillbillies," a way to mock country folk and Christian belief. And also about what they got: a loyal audience that absolutely loves the Robertsons for being God-fearing Christian country folk, and that makes A&E a whackload of money for putting the Robertsons on the air. And for what it's worth, the Robertsons appear to be loyal to their patriarch, and have no interest in doing the show without him.

I've never seen "Duck Dynasty." I'd rather have the telly off. My wife, who likes telly, generally prefers crime drama, SyFy originals, urban fantasy, and monster movies (no zombies), with a few specific sitcoms thrown in. But I would like for the Robertsons of Duck Commander to more or less stay on the air. From what little I know of them, they're the sort of people that, even if they were as desperately poor as I am, I'd like to have for neighbors.

So, if I were Phil Robertson, this is what I would do: provided there's no anti-competition clause in the contract with A&E that prevents it, I'd take the show's concept to Country Music Television. It doesn't have to be called "Duck Dynasty" for the fans to find it there. And CMT is run both by and for people who are a lot more like the Robertsons than the Arts and Entertainment network. I suspect they're a little less likely to fold because of the first call from GLAAD or their fellow-travelers.

UPDATE: Audrey Assad is not merely a wonderful musician, songwriter, and performer. She also has steelmanned Phil Robertson's argument against homosexual acts, reaching largely the same conclusion from a much more humane and human place, namely, the Theology of the Body.

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