Saturday, December 28, 2013

A&E's message

The A&E Network's hit reality TV series Duck Dynasty was in danger for a time due to paterfamilias Phil Robertson's inflammatory remarks about gays and blacks. A&E suspended him from the show for an "indefinite" period shortly after the remarks hit the news. The rest of the Robertson family swiftly declared they would not participate in the show without him.

A&E caved, announcing that Phil would be back when shooting resumed in the spring. That "time of danger" for the show? Not quite a whole week.

If you care, James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly explains the business reasons for A&E's backing-down.

In spite of all the heated commentary in the national conversation, the dynamics of this situation owe nothing to the peanut gallery. Everything that has happened is the result of actions by the Robertson clan and the network. Yet we in the peanut gallery will have the last word. Will the TV show remain a big moneymaker for the network, or will the audience fall away out of disgust with Phil?

One way or another, a message will be sent to A&E.

A&E already sent its message to us: money speaks louder than anything else.

(On a separate note, why aren't you Christians who aren't white supremacists and homophobes drowning out Robertson and his defenders with your outrage? They've said their views derive from the Bible and thus are literally holy writ. I don't know of a more obscene and self-serving assault on Christianity than that.)

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