Last December, Phil Robertson, the star of hit television show "Duck Dynasty" made controversial comments during a GQ Magazine interview. He compared being gay to those that rape animals. Robertson told the magazine "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality..." In addition, Robertson said African Americans were "happy" "picking cotton" during the pre-civil rights era.
As a result, A&E Television suspended him from the show for two weeks, however he never missed a day of filming. A&E released a statement saying "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ" and "We have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."
Robertson's fans launched an aggressive campaign in support of him and his comments, which ultimately forced the television network to end his suspension. After gay rights supports voiced their concerns, Phil Robertson claimed to be a "victim" for exercising his "freedom of speech" however that's not how LGBT activists view it.
Examiner.com couldn't find a single comment from a gay rights supporter saying Robertson didn't have a right to say what he said, but rather gay rights supporters were simply defending themselves against his fabricated, defamatory and hurtful remarks.
Duck Dynasty, which originally obtained 12 million viewers has dramatically dropped to only 6.5 million, making the show's ratings plummet nearly 50 percent. This is expected to be the show's last season.
Legal experts agree that Robertson's First Amendment to free speech was not violated because the government did not take action against him. His employer, A&E had a right to suspend him because he violated the company's policies. In the same way that a waiter or waitress would be disciplined if they announced to all the restaurant's customers their hurtful views on homosexuality and civil rights.
Imagine being a gay person who read Phil Robertson's comments; in and of itself, it's no big deal because we hear those things every day, but having it supported by nearly everyone we know is hurtful. Seeing our best friends and family members saying "I Stand With Phil" is hurtful. The real victim wasn't Phil Robertson, it was the gay teenager who is constantly bullied for his sexual orientation, and having that bullying significantly amplified over Robertson's comments.
The real victim is the gay teenager who's friends are "standing with Phil" instead of you.