By: Meredith Hillgartner
Every week more than 14 million Americans turn on their TV’s and let the Robertson family into their homes.
Their show ‘Duck Dynasty’ is the most watched show on television but as of Wednesday one family member will be gone- at least for a little while.
“I don’t feel they made the right decision,” Brandon Caywell said. “Freedom of speech first of all, he was asked a question, he gave an honest answer.”
“I don’t think he should have said it,” Margie Tiner said. “It wasn’t a cool thing to say.”
A&E indefinitely suspended family patriarch Phil Robertson from the show after he made anti-gay comments in an interview with GQ Magazine.
“If he would have expressed that he supported gay people he would have been praised,” Jon Musquiz said. “Since he is against it they made him to be some bad guy on TV.”
We spoke to several people in
“Freedom of speech,” Caywell said. “He’s got the right to say that. I know they have the right to fire him or suspend them, whatever be the case, but it doesn’t set a good precedent.”
“I think you should be able to say what’s on your mind and not get punished for it,” Tiner said.
But local civil rights lawyer Robert St. Clair said when it comes to the first amendment each party was in their rights.
“GQ had the right to interview him and print it under the constitution that is protected free speech,” St. Clair said. “A&E had the right to discipline their independent contract or employee or whatever Mr. Robertson was and Mr. Robertson had a right to state his opinions.”
At the end of the day St. Clair said it all comes down to money.
“GQ wants a story, A&E wants to continue selling advertising, more viewers,” St. Clair said. “So it was just kind of the perfect storm. I think when he expressed obviously a closely held religious belief and I think that is what set off the fire storm.”