My last blog ruffled the feathers of more than a few folks on Twitter because I stated that A&E had made the perfect move to save its valued franchise by “indefinitely suspending” Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.
The love tweets poured in including one, which said I had contextualized the network’s decision “in a way that made a good gesture feel gross and slimy.” Others said I was “completely incorrect” and that A&E had made a “catastrophic error.”
At some point, I’ll have to write a blog admitting one of my media opinions is wrong, but, thankfully, I don’t have to eat crow regarding A&E’s duck and cover.
The network risked nothing by “suspending” Robertson when shooting for next season had already wrapped up. (Think of it as suspending the star quarterback of a football team for a few weeks after the Super Bowl.) It was a preemptive move to quell the many who were offended by Robertson’s strong remarks regarding homosexuality. It allowed A&E to appear as if it had taken some sort of action while measuring the level of outrage. The hope of network executives all along was for the tide of public opinion to give them the opportunity to welcome the Robertson family back into its nest of golden eggs, which they did.
I’m not saying it’s pretty, but A&E’s initial indignation with Robertson’s opinions was simply a decoy to protect its bunch and it worked.