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The Duck Dynasty Debacle

I shouldn’t blog about this. Branding “experts” have warned me to stay away from topics like this. They tell me to stick with my core topics which I guess would be leadership, motivation and sales. But leaders don’t dodge tough subjects so I’ll just call this a leadership post.

I should begin by saying I’ve only seen a few minutes of Duck Dynasty, ever. I know people who absolutely love it and if you’ll pardon the pun, watch it religiously. I have nothing against it and the very little bit I’ve seen was funny but I’ve just never gotten into it.

I wonder how much “reality” is in this reality show and how much is actually made up. I mean can guys who do so well in business really do and say the ridiculous stuff that happens on every episode?   

Anyway, it’s nothing any of them have done on the show that has gotten them into trouble, it’s what the family patriarch said in a magazine interview. Phil Robertson said, and I paraphrase here, that the Bible has led him to believe that homosexuality is a sin. He said some other typical Duck Dynasty stuff but it was the earlier comment that has caused such a controversy. 

He was immediately and indefinitely suspended by the network that airs his family’s show. He has been ridiculed, pilloried, called hateful and compared with the worst of the human race. 

All this because he expressed an opinion. He didn’t say he hated anyone, didn’t judge anyone, didn’t say anyone was going to hell. He just said what he believed based on his understanding of the Bible. 

The network that has suspended him was well within their rights to do what they did. He said something they didn’t like and they benched him. No problem there; it might be a stupid decision but in the United States businesses make stupid decisions everyday, it’s a right. 

Just like expressing an opinion used to be. Used to be!

Today if you say something that someone or some group doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with you’re labeled a hater, a racist, a bigot, and a left or right wing fanatic. Whether you’re a left or right wing fanatic depends on who you offended, you can’t be both, at least not at the same time. 

I find this whole thing very confusing; this Robertson guy expresses an opinion and is labeled a bigot and hater. The groups calling him these names and in some cases threatening him and his family are doing nothing wrong. Saying what you believe, right or wrong, makes you a bigot. Threatening the person who has the courage of their convictions makes you a hero. 

Folks, there is something terribly wrong with that picture.

Now the network has a debacle on their hands. There is no way to let the guy back on the air without admitting they were wrong to suspend him. It’s not like he’s going to change his views any time soon. So either you let a person you’ve said is a bigot back on the air or you lose your most profitable show. 

I’ll say this for the network, they seem to be sticking to their guns, at least for now. If they put their principles over profits I would commend them for that, even if I disagree with them. I still believe in the freedom of speech that used to be commonplace in the United States.

They are certainly in better shape than the people at Cracker Barrel who pulled the Duck Dynasty products from the shelves and then put them back on 24 hours later. Nice work guys, I guess we know where you stand, well, maybe not. 

Now, here’s where I’m really going to get into trouble. I’m going to express an opinion. Here we go:

I think it’s okay to not like a particular group. I think it’s okay to not eat green vegetables. I think it’s good to think differently than everyone else. I think it’s just fine to express your opinion, even if it’s different than someone’s, or even everyone else’s. Wow, I guess that’s like 4 opinions, I guess I just got on a roll. 

So there you go, I expressed my thoughts and before you rip me for it remember this: if everyone thinks the same then somebody isn’t thinking. 

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