His remarks in the interview, while exercised as free speech, probably violated a clause in his contract. Personally, I think it would be easier to understand why the networks take the actions that they take in such cases if there was a uniform disciplinary code. The way it currently stands, one network fires a person. The next network just gives a suspension. That makes no sense!
A&E is an entertainment company. They have every right to suspend or terminate employees who reflect poorly on the image they wish to present or whose statements could cost them advertising or sponsors. The large majority of A&Es sponsors are LGBT friendly companies, and such statements could cost them a great deal of money.
A TV personality works on an At-Will contract- meaning that their company can fire them at any time for any reason. Working as a TV personality one should be smart enough to know that your speech has repercussions, and that you exist to sell an image.
What Phil said was by itself gross and inappropriate, and I'd hold anyone accountable to saying something like that. Yes we have free speech. Corporations have free speech as well. It's the government that cannot violate our free speech, it doesn't say anything about a corporation. Though, I think homosexuality is wrong, I think it was in the rights of A&E to suspend Phil Robertson for opposing their view's.
I would have to say yes. As someone who is sort of a mascot for their network, things that he says reflect on them, and he said QUITE A FEW THINGS ABOUT QUITE A FEW PEOPLE that were offensive. When his views didn't reflect theirs, it was their every right to do something about it. It was every bit his right to say what he said, but he also has to face the circumstances. The first amendment never said there wouldn't be circumstances.
I support my argument by how every other person supports the argument for other answer to this question. Simply put. He voiced his opinion. In most terms that would be grounds that my answer is incorrect and should be "no", but the fact is that in voicing his opinion he has harmed the reputation of the show in A&E's eyes and has thereby breached his contract with them. He was not fired for his opinion but rather because he breached his contract by voicing his opinion.
Although it is generally accepted that people have a right to their opinions, being a public figure is slightly different. Those who are in the public eye need to exercise discretion in expressing their opinions and ideas because those ideas could be viewed as a reflection of the organizations that employ them, like the A&E network in Robertson's case. It was, therefore, not only acceptable but a wise public relations and marketing move for the A&E network to distance itself from Robertson temporarily.
Phil can can say an do anything he wants. A&E also can do what's in their best interest as a corporation. So they each have consequences to weigh from their actions. Duck Dynasty is a cash cow and A&E wouldn't do anything to jeopardize their marquee product, however, any business that appeals to the mass audience must comport to political correctness to maximize profits. Consider this, there have been VERY profitable "gay" themed shows like Will & Grace, Queer Eye, and gay celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres. In today's society people are more accepting of homosexuality, if you want to sell stuff to this society it's probably a good idea to not be offensive. A&E is doing what's best for them long term, Phil can say anything he wants as long as he is willing to do it to a smaller crowd and get a smaller paycheck doing it.
What is one of the biggest things taught in America? Freedom! Freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion. We are taught that everyone is equal and we are to be tolerate of everyone and everything. We are to love the Muslims, the Hindus, the Radicals, the Left-Wingers, and everyone else in our country. So why, tell me why, it is not okay for Phil Robertson to give his opinion about his beliefs about homosexuals?
Though I do not agree with Phil's opinion, I have to say that A&E is oppressing his first amendment rights by censoring and suspending him for a question they probably knew the answer to, based on his Christian Values. I think he should be allowed to have his opinion, just like homosexuals do.
Although I do not agree with what Phil Robertson said, it is wrong for A&E to suspend him. There is this really cool thing called the constitution, and it gives Americans rights. The very first right is called freedom of speech. This basically means that we are allowed to say what we want, or express our opinions. A&E is just worried about money and is trying to look good to the public.
If A&E believes that Phil Robertson violated his contract, then that is something else. However, he has the right to voice his opinion in any other venue other than his TV show. Everyone that watches Duck Dynasty has no question as to the family's views. He did not condemn gays. He voiced his opinion. I very much doubt that anyone gay other than a gay activist would find what he said as offensive. My niece is gay and she said that she did not find what Phil said as offensive. She is a Christian and understand's that her favorite priest holds the exact same convictions.
It is unwise and also wrong for a company to suspend, fire, or ban for things unrelated to the job.
A lot of people on here mention that the first amendment doesn't apply to corporations. Correct. I'm not saying this is illegal. I'm saying it's not okay which is what the question asked. There's a difference. The company is in its legal rights to do this but I disagree that's it's the right thing to do.
I view him as I would my own grandfather. They grew up in a different time, and when they were 20-40 and deciding right from wrong it was common knowledge that being gay was a sin and was immoral. Things have changed, and thank goodness, but it is harsh to suspend someone for stating their beliefs when those beliefs do not incite hatred or violence against people. I'm an atheist and a liberal but I also watch the show and know the man is not a hateful man, at least from what I have seen of him. I think the network would be justified in telling him that in the future such remarks will result in being let go from the show, but I don't agree with such a harsh penalty for his remarks the first time he says someone that isn't politically correct or in line with A&E's stance on homosexuality.
None of us are free until all of us are equal though, and the sooner gay marriage is legal the better.
The interviewer asked him about it... So he answered honestly... Honesty shouldn't be demonized because you don't like the answer...
He specifically said that he loved gay people just like he loves all people... And that we should all just love one another... Hardly bigotry. Besides, no one should be able to fire you only something that didn't happen at work (unless it was against the law.) In fact, they can't. It's illegal to fire someone for something they said off the job.
Typically, you can only fire someone for doing something bad on campus, or breaking the law. That is why A&E "permanently suspended" instead of "fire" him... Now give me one difference between the two...
Phil should not have been fired from the show for his personal opinions!
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you have to fill out a release when you do an interview for any major publication stating that words contained in the interview are their own and give permission to the publication to use what they said. If I am correct in this, than it is the fault of the fact-checkers, editors, bloggers, censors, legal departments and executives at GQ that are at fault, not Phil! There are MANY checks and balances at A&E and GQ before ANYTHING hits the public at both companies. They should be held liable for slander, defamation of character. There are ROOMS full of people at fault for this, NOT one person for simply reciting a verse in one of the oldest and most printed publications on the planet. It is my opinion that this was a huge publicity stunt to get “buzz” started for the failing GQ magazine. GQ did several interviews with the stars of “Will and Grace”, that had much more damaging words in every episode in their 7 seasons. What about all of the “Queer Eye” shows or Ellen DeGeneres? Duck Dynasty is a very popular program and is getting much more “Buzz” around it since everyone knows that controversy sells. It is sad that GQ had to stoop to the level of such rags as “The National Enquirer” to sell their magazine. If Phil Really wanted to, he and his legal team can easily own GQ. He could also take A&E to the cleaners in multiple different ways. I would also hope that Phil would also have his lawyers make a list of all of the celebrities, gay, and political groups and sue the crap out of all of them. When he wins all of the cases with the people that joined the bandwagon against him, he can take all of the winnings and donate them to a large quantity of Christian charities in the names of the people that spoke out against him!! Go Team Phil!!!
Though freedom of speech is known by all, it is commonly disregarded. Phil Robertson stated his opinion about homosexuals on Duck Dynasty. Could he have worded it better? Yes. Can he control how it is interpreted? No. It is our constitutional right to express our opinion, no matter what it is.
There are a great number of people in the world who find cussing offensive. Are actors who cuss suspended from their show? No they are not, simply because all viewers have to do is stop watching. It is a viewer's CHOICE to turn on the tv and watch a show, just like it is a viewer's CHOICE to stop watching the show for whatever reason. If people did not agree with Phil Robertson's opinion, then they could have simply stopped watching.
As this story continuously blows up on the news and is argued over, many people are ignorant to the fact that 45% of America agree with Phil Robertson and his beliefs. Almost half of the US believe homosexuality is wrong, yet Robertson is bashed for confirming his stance on the subject, a stance that is highly supported. Americans pride themselves over their "independence" and "freedoms". If this country is so "free", why is this man being punished for his ideals? Where was his so called "freedom" when he was suspended from A&E?
I believe that Phil Robertson was wronged by A&E and his constitutional rights are not being honored. Any citizen no matter who they are, black, white, hispanic, gay or lesbian, have a right in this country to express their opinions, and we need to improve on upholding it.
It's okay to say whatever you want and the government won't put you in jail - but if what you say isn't the popular opinion or politically correct, then you have to face the HATRED of anyone who disagrees with you. This movement to make everyone conform to the PC way of life is far more offensive than the individual opinions of ANYONE - even bigots, racists, homophobes, etc.
There is a big difference between hate speech and sharing your personal preferences. Phil never threatened anyone or said that anyone was going to hell. Well maybe he does if you read into it. He said he thinks it is sin, and God will handle the judgment of those behaviors. He even said that he treats everyone the same even if they have different beliefs than he does. The GQ article was an attack on Christianity from the very beginning. If there is any hatred coming from the GQ article it certainly isn't on the side of Phil.