A Duck Out of Water..
So the latest brew ha ha in media is about the Duck Dynasty star’s offensive comments about gays….tv execs are running scared, fans are forming petitions and the LGBT community is rightfully offended.
For those of you who have read my blogs over the years or know me, you know that there are two things I hate (well I am sure there are more, but two things come to mind right now)– one is reality tv and the other is intolerance.
So, with that in mind, it may seem strange for me to cry fowl about this latest tv debacle but sometimes you have to call a spade, a spade.
With many apologies to my gay brothers and sisters for being exposed to someone’s ignorance and lack of tact, I have to ask a rather obvious question, are we really surprised? I mean really? This is EXACTY what happens when you elevate the common. TV execs, news anchors and advertisers are all collectively running around with their heads on fire because a man who looks like a ZZ Top poster out take, made some very ill advised and narrow minded comments about the LGBT community. What did they think he would say? The man is a duck hunter living in Louisiana – he is not spending his free time working on a float for the next Gay pride parade. His comments may be insensitive and ignorant but they are exactly what one would expect from someone who, up until now, has been highlighted for his beliefs and views.
As a recovering alcoholic, devout Christian, pro-lifer and anti gay- Phil is what he is and despite a college degree, he is rather uneducated regarding the world around him. Which means that at the end of the day, he can have his views—as misogynistic and ill informed as they may be, and I may not agree with them, many people may not agree, but let’s not pretend this is all some kind of shock to our sensibilities?
What is truly shocking to me is that GQ thought him to be an appropriate interview in the first place…the magazine claims that they are “an American monthly men’s magazine focusing on fashion, style, and culture for men, through articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, sports, technology, and books.” . Is it just me or am I missing where Phil fits in to the areas of fashion, style or culture?
GQ obviously decided to ramp up their circulation by choosing to interview a man that is perhaps an object of pop culture but certainly no expert on the areas they are “supposed to be” focusing on. That was a bad call Jim Nelson…or was it? GQ is probably flying off of the shelves. Let’s face it, it’s not like the editorial staff of GQ thought Phil would espouse about Windsor knot ties and what face cleanser for men he prefers, they knew he would be inflammatory and they probably threw a bit of zippo into the air just to make sure it really rattled everyone.
Then A&E responds by suspending him…really? The proverbial press release comes out and we’re expected to believe that the tv execs are really aghast and embarrassed? Maybe Robertson didn’t keep to his non-disclosure agreement but the ratings just got a boost and their market share just went through the roof. Fans of the show will buy more merchandise, tune in and the circus goes on…even Sarah Palin has joined in and that just makes the spectacle even more spectacular.
Still, I continue to wonder why we as a nation are behaving like this was some big deviation. If he had worn a pair of rainbow waders and invited the guys from Queer Eye for Straight Guy over for a reunion I would have been caught off guard but his comments are more commonplace among his ilk than not. So, we the American public got exactly what we ordered.
It goes back to my laments of reality tv…when tv execs option programs like” Duck Dynasty”, “American Hoggers” and “Billy the Exterminator” it is nothing more than pandering to the lowest common denominator, and until the American tv viewing public ceases to program their tv remotes to this celluloid idiocy we will continue to be on the receiving end of dvr debris.
Phil Robertson may be foolish and injudicious but he is getting paid to be himself and it is the viewers who are signing his royalty checks. While we are all aghast at his ignorant and tactless statements– he, the networks, and retailers are all watching their bank accounts grow.
So, America- it really is true- you get what you pay for.….money for mediocrity. Until we stop paying for it, it will keep returning and it will become a part of our culture—like a duck to water