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Duck Dynasty, White Supremacist Game Designers, and Censorship

joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades DemodogIt's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
edited December 2014 in Debate and/or Discourse
I guess entitled white people are angry again. If they ever stopped, that is.

Why? Well, this time it's because a (possibly?) racist and (possibly?) homophobic southern white guy said some possibly racist and homophobic things in an interview and got suspended from A&E as a result.
Phil Robertson, a star of A&E's "Duck Dynasty," has been suspended indefinitely after slamming gays in a magazine interview.

"We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty," the network said in a statement Wednesday.

"His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."


In an interview in the January issue of GQ, Robertson says homosexuality is a sin and puts it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity.

"It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical," he's quoted as saying.

Asked what, in his mind, is sinful, Robertson replied: "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."


He also made comments regarding race and growing up in Louisiana before the civil rights era.

"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field. ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word!

"Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues," GQ quotes Robertson as saying.


"Duck Dynasty" follows a Louisiana bayou family that has "made a fortune on duck calls," as A&E describes it.

Season 5 of is set to premiere January 15. According to A&E, its fourth season premiere in August drew nearly 12 million viewers to become the No. 1 nonfiction series telecast in cable history.

So, um. Don't we have real problems in the world to worry about? No? Okay.

So let's get really ripshit pissed off about this then!
A&E's "Duck Dynasty" is not just the most popular reality show on cable TV. It's a rallying point for middle America, proof that down-home folks from the backcountry can make good and become mega-stars.

And now it's become the latest battleground in America's culture wars.

Phil Robertson, the show's 67-year-old patriarch, was suspended from the series this week after he referred to gay people as "homosexual offenders" in a national magazine interview. His comments to GQ magazine also seemed to question the need for federal entitlement programs.

Once again, TV finds itself in another cultural hot zone. The "Duck Dynasty" situation recalls last summer's uproar over celebrity chef Paula Deen, who lost her Food Network gig and many sponsorship deals after she admitted she had "of course" used a racial epithet in the past.

TLC pulled an episode of "Cake Boss" in 2012 after "Cousin Anthony" mocked a transgender guest. Similar flare-ups damaged the careers of radio host Don Imus, Oscar winner Mel Gibson and actor Isaiah Washington after they were accused of using racially insensitive or homophobic speech.

These cases reflect larger rifts in American life — call it a split between progressives and traditionalist values.

But the particular problem for the TV industry is that it's trying to profit off the same cultural tensions it's exploiting. That inevitably leads to problems such as the current one engulfing "Duck Dynasty."

The reality programming trend in recent years has made stars out of everyone from bakers to pawnbrokers to catfish-wranglers. That these "authentic" people have opinions and values that don't always jibe with those of the media elite in New York and Los Angeles isn't necessarily surprising.

But it means that the executives and PR handlers have had to get very good at backpedaling away from uncomfortable realities. That's most likely what is happening now on "Duck Dynasty."

"A&E has been very careful in editing and presenting this family, being careful not to show any potential controversial views," said Robert J. Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University. "But they can't control what they say outside of the show."

"Channels like A&E program 'regular' people mostly to make curiosities out of them," said Jeffrey McCall, a media studies professor at DePauw University. "The programmers want to manage every aspect of their 'reality' commodities, but that isn't really possible.

"If A&E wants the Robertsons to make money for the channel by being authentic, then at some point A&E has to accept that reality stars will be real human beings," McCall added. "If A&E didn't like the Robertsons as they are, then why did they give them a weekly platform?"

Hours after Robertson was suspended for his comments, the affair had mushroomed into a highly emotional national debate. A Facebook page demanding Robertson's return had earned more than 600,000 "likes" and the hashtag #StandWithPhil spread across Twitter.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal expressed support for the "Duck Commander" patriarch, as did former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck said he'd be happy to have "Duck Dynasty" on his start-up network the Blaze, while Fox News host Sean Hannity targeted A&E executives for suspending Robertson on an indefinite "hiatus."


The backlash didn't appear to faze liberal pressure groups, however. By midday Thursday, GLAAD was emailing supporters with a fundraising appeal tied to the controversy. "As a community, these are the moments we rise to," the advocacy organization said in the pitch letter. CNN host Piers Morgan denounced Robertson for his "repulsively racist, homophobic bigotry."

What's different about the "Duck Dynasty" case is that Robertson's distinctive world view was part of what A&E was selling all along. He has been vocal before now about his conservative Christianity as well as his marital troubles and love of guns and hunting.

"Duck Dynasty" is a major part of A&E's business plan. The show is the No. 1-rated reality series on cable TV. The Season 4 premiere drew a record 11.8 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, making it the most-watched nonfiction telecast ever on cable TV. That's good news for A&E's bottom line.

A lot of people are making a "freedom of speech is dead" stink about this. Especially in evangelical Christian circles; it's a huge shock! You can't just go on television and denounce homosexuals and engage in revisionism over segregation and slavery and claim that racism is dead without consequences!

Why won't somebody think of the poor (middle-class) white Christians?

25141500-1207861989.gif

OK, sarcasm aside, here's an article from a Christian perspective that I can actually agree with.

TL;DR: Freedom doesn't mean you don't have to deal with consequences of speaking your mind, one rich reality TV star is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things (500 people were killed in the Sudan two days ago, where were the Christians when this happened?), and finally, to say that a church would accept Robertson into their own congregation without censoring the things that spew from his mouth is flatly ridiculous.

Remember when we used to have a media environment where if somebody said things like Robertson said, and they were punished for it, that they would be embarrassed? Maybe not honestly, but they would at least pretend.

So what's going on here? Is the network wrong to profit from the things this man says but then turn around and shut him down when he says a couple of specific things they don't like? Is that censorship? Or is it better that the network exercise its own freedom of speech by saying they won't be responsible for putting this man on the air, because he doesn't represent them?

In my opinion, the network has every right to decide what it will and will not air, and so the backlash basically boils down to a bunch of people who want their (regressive) social views aired on a popular TV show.

Something deeper is going on here than Duck Dynasty, though. There are more than 600,000 people (likely a lot more) who don't see anything wrong with what this man said, and feel that his suspension was completely undeserved.

So while we can simply scratch the surface level in this thread and talk about the DD controversy, I would also like to talk about censorship.

Censorship gets kind of a bad rap. Probably deservedly so, because historically it has been used by governments to silence dissenting information which would have been harmful to their control over the populace. However, I feel like it can be used by those who do not wield ultimate power in ways which have a net good.

First of all, we need to decide whether or not Robertson was actually censored. I believe that he was. I also believe it was deserved, and that it has a net benefit to society that he was.

Now, Robertson was probably suspended not because the executives at A&E are deeply hurt and offended, but because they see the things he is saying as damaging to their brand and bottom line. They're probably right, but just because they might be doing this for the wrong reasons, I still think it's the right thing to do. Essentially it draws a line and says, "This is what you can no longer get away with saying to millions of people." Over the last decade or so I've seen reality TV consistently lowering the bar and putting more and more shamefully ignorant people in living rooms across the nation. That one channel finally took a stand is admirable, to me.

Besides, I don't feel too bad for Robertson. He is already swimming in buckets of money. Gay rights are this generation's galvanizing social movement. I think that 50 years from now, he'll be remembered (if he is) as an ignorant rich white dude who felt the need to keep other people from doing things that didn't ultimately affect him or his mountain of cash in any way. So having such a man on television possibly saying more of the things which keep society from pressing forward and, well... progressing is a big price to pay just so more ignorant people can have their white trash TV.

What do you think? Is this censorship? If it is, is it warranted? Were the things he said bad enough to justify this kind of response?

Friends don't lie.
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  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    You are allowed to say what you want.
    Nobody is (usually) required to provide a forum for you to say it.

    How hard can that be to understand?

    Also, in some cases, the long arm of the law will slap you in the face (and fine you) for saying those things.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Censorship is pragmatic. Given the choice between actually arguing with people with repugnant views and providing logical followup, censorship and marginalization are less labor intensive and safer from backfire. Nobody has the chops to speak on these issues in a way that encourages everyone to participate, and recognizing this weakness is key to a functional society.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    Fuck white people. I'm so sick of us.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    I think it's not censorship, and that censorship is not a net good, and that you are fundamentally wrong as fuck about the net good of censorship. Your heckler's veto can get dunked on, and you probably hate it when it's done for reasons you don't like.

    I think this dude was rightly silenced by A&E because they want to protect their brand. I think what he said is both wrong and foolish. I think an uproar over it is great.

    I also think the level of snark in this OP will make this my last post on the topic.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    Was our government involved in this somehow? If not, proceed and go about your bizness 'cause nobody's free speech was violated.

    I'm like 99.9% sure that he has a contract with A&E or a parent company that says they can hiatus his ass if he says some repugnant shit.

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  • jeffinvajeffinva Koogler coming this summerRegistered User regular
    I don't personally think it's a complicated situation. The man said some things that were offensive to many, and not just a "I'm offending your sensibilities" kind of offensive but rather "on the same level as saying the n-word" offensive. And it clearly wasn't in jest - like a joke from Adam Corolla on his podcast or a throwaway line on Family Guy.

    The entity that pays him decided that it hurt their brand and they didn't approve of his remarks. So see ya two fold.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I think it's not censorship, and that censorship is not a net good, and that you are fundamentally wrong as fuck about the net good of censorship. Your heckler's veto can get dunked on, and you probably hate it when it's done for reasons you don't like.

    I think this dude was rightly silenced by A&E because they want to protect their brand. I think what he said is both wrong and foolish. I think an uproar over it is great.

    I also think the level of snark in this OP will make this my last post on the topic.

    Network censors are a thing.

    So if somebody on a TV show makes a joke about, for example, how minorities act in a movie theater, and the network censors say that joke isn't gonna fly, write something else, were they not censored?

    Friends don't lie.
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    The lack of a more recent example of real, blatant censorship personally experienced by the majority of people in the US has led to damn near everything being called censorship. Didn't take long for McCarthy to become a punchline in someone's rant.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

    No, it's not, because to say that it's censorship is to claim that he somehow had a right to the company's platform.

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I think it's not censorship, and that censorship is not a net good, and that you are fundamentally wrong as fuck about the net good of censorship. Your heckler's veto can get dunked on, and you probably hate it when it's done for reasons you don't like.

    I think this dude was rightly silenced by A&E because they want to protect their brand. I think what he said is both wrong and foolish. I think an uproar over it is great.

    I also think the level of snark in this OP will make this my last post on the topic.

    I wish I had more than one Awesome to give this post.

    I will say I think there are a few specific circumstances where censorship is a net good. Stuff like the WW2 censoring of letters / redacting schedules and locations as one of the few examples I can think of.

    But otherwise, this post hits the nail on the head. This isn't censorship, it's a private company protecting their brand - likely in a way that's completely stated in a contract they signed with the Duck Dynasty people / corporation that almost certainly includes clauses that expressively permit termination in situations like this.

    jmcdonald
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Robertson was not censored. That's just fact. He was punished, sure, but there's nothing stopping him from going on a 50 state tour about how homosexuality is evil.

    And I don't really find anything admirable about what A&E did. From my POV, it was a purely economic decision. They happily exploited the Robertson family's redneckery until some of the less fun aspects of the people who live/think that way came out. I also think A&E is smart enough to have predicted this kind of thing. IMO, it was only a matter of time before one of them said or did something controversial that was aimed at one kind of minority or another.

    I do think that the criticism he's received is warranted. Conflating homosexuality with bestiality, while also clinging to the cliche of promiscuity, is despicable. Full stop.

    But I take issue with the idea that this guy can some how stop society from progressing. That confers a level of power and influence he simply hasn't reached, and likely never will. I really don't think that Duck Dynasty is the cultural force the media is trying to make it be. There's a significant portion of people who watch it to laugh at the rednecks, much like the Osbournes, and the Kardashians, and all the others who have come before and those that are waiting in the wings. They don't care about the Robertsons as people, but as meat puppets to guffaw at. And those that do hold similar views are quickly falling by the wayside. The demographics show it. 17 states and counting show it. The quick public outcry whenever any jackass acts like a jackass shows it.

    People like Phil Robertson are no longer stopping progress. They're being bowled over by it. There's a long road to go, sure, but we really shouldn't fear about the backwards opinions of some bearded redneck. They're literally becoming inconsequential by the moment.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I think it's not censorship, and that censorship is not a net good, and that you are fundamentally wrong as fuck about the net good of censorship. Your heckler's veto can get dunked on, and you probably hate it when it's done for reasons you don't like.

    I think this dude was rightly silenced by A&E because they want to protect their brand. I think what he said is both wrong and foolish. I think an uproar over it is great.

    I also think the level of snark in this OP will make this my last post on the topic.

    Network censors are a thing.

    So if somebody on a TV show makes a joke about, for example, how minorities act in a movie theater, and the network censors say that joke isn't gonna fly, write something else, were they not censored?

    No.

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I think it's not censorship, and that censorship is not a net good, and that you are fundamentally wrong as fuck about the net good of censorship. Your heckler's veto can get dunked on, and you probably hate it when it's done for reasons you don't like.

    I think this dude was rightly silenced by A&E because they want to protect their brand. I think what he said is both wrong and foolish. I think an uproar over it is great.

    I also think the level of snark in this OP will make this my last post on the topic.

    Network censors are a thing.

    So if somebody on a TV show makes a joke about, for example, how minorities act in a movie theater, and the network censors say that joke isn't gonna fly, write something else, were they not censored?

    FCC doesn't regulate cable like it does OTA stations.

    You can call individual stations choosing which type of programming they would like to air censorship, and I guess it technically was, but nobody's rights were violated. Choosing content is an entirely different type of censorship than government censorship, and not really something worth bothering over.

    Elldren
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    I think it's not censorship, and that censorship is not a net good, and that you are fundamentally wrong as fuck about the net good of censorship. Your heckler's veto can get dunked on, and you probably hate it when it's done for reasons you don't like.

    I think this dude was rightly silenced by A&E because they want to protect their brand. I think what he said is both wrong and foolish. I think an uproar over it is great.

    I also think the level of snark in this OP will make this my last post on the topic.

    Network censors are a thing.

    So if somebody on a TV show makes a joke about, for example, how minorities act in a movie theater, and the network censors say that joke isn't gonna fly, write something else, were they not censored?

    FCC doesn't regulate cable like it does OTA stations.

    You can call individual stations choosing which type of programming they would like to air censorship, and I guess it technically was, but nobody's rights were violated. Choosing content is an entirely different type of censorship than government censorship, and not really something worth bothering over.

    Actually, calling selection of content censorship destroys the meaning of the word.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    Fair enough. I'm not beholden to the idea that he was censored, but the backlash about it is still kind of ridiculous regardless of whether he was censored or not.

    Friends don't lie.
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Honestly, this is A&E's fault. They knew that if you throw a rock anywhere in the South, 9 times out of ten you are going to hit someone who is homophobic and/or racist. It's the South. I'm currently living in Alabama and that kind of thinking is something you see here even from my generation (I'm currently 24).

    Plus, look at Duck Dynasty's core audience. Southern Christian Rednecks. This guy is speaking only what they are thinking. If A&E is stupid enough to think they wouldn't deal with this before too long, then they need to get in another business.

    This guy had the right to say what he wanted to say. Just as gay people have the right to hold parades and wear assless chaps in board daylight. A&E has the right to kick him off the show. And his family can quit the show and still be rich as shit. This is another pointless debate.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

    No, it's not, because to say that it's censorship is to claim that he somehow had a right to the company's platform.

    "Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. "
    https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/what-censorship

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Personally I think it wasn't the gay comments that got him shitcanned, but his assertion that Blacks "where happy in the pre-civil rights era" and other comments(I think something about Vietnamese needing Jesus in the Vietnam war). Remember this was a serious interview, with him presenting his deeply held personal views. Guy was pretty close to using the N-word in a non-joking way(there are really no way a white guy can use the N-Word) .

    A&E probably chose to focus on the anti-gay stuff so that they can have him walk it back or have it forgotten. People are a lot more forgiving of anti-gay shittalking then they are of anti-black/asian stuff. If it was only anti-gay, it would have been a formal reprimand and a public apology from A&E(views don't reflect and so forth).

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    I think it's not censorship, and that censorship is not a net good, and that you are fundamentally wrong as fuck about the net good of censorship. Your heckler's veto can get dunked on, and you probably hate it when it's done for reasons you don't like.

    I think this dude was rightly silenced by A&E because they want to protect their brand. I think what he said is both wrong and foolish. I think an uproar over it is great.

    I also think the level of snark in this OP will make this my last post on the topic.

    Network censors are a thing.

    So if somebody on a TV show makes a joke about, for example, how minorities act in a movie theater, and the network censors say that joke isn't gonna fly, write something else, were they not censored?

    FCC doesn't regulate cable like it does OTA stations.

    You can call individual stations choosing which type of programming they would like to air censorship, and I guess it technically was, but nobody's rights were violated. Choosing content is an entirely different type of censorship than government censorship, and not really something worth bothering over.

    Actually, calling selection of content censorship destroys the meaning of the word.

    Fair 'nuff.

    I think it's a matter of degrees, and in this case it probably isn't censorship because this was something he said outside the program. Although, I'd consider Comedy Central cutting the portion of the South Park episode with Allah censorship...and if A&E cutting out racist / homophobic comments on reality TV it's arguably both content selection AND censorship.

    We could probably split hairs all day, but I'm comfortable agreeing with you in this instance.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

    No, it's not, because to say that it's censorship is to claim that he somehow had a right to the company's platform.

    "Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. "
    https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/what-censorship

    I don't agree with that definition. In fact, it's a good example of what I mean by free speech maximalism.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

    No, it's not, because to say that it's censorship is to claim that he somehow had a right to the company's platform.

    "Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. "
    https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/what-censorship

    I don't agree with that definition. In fact, it's a good example of what I mean by free speech maximalism.

    Well, I'm sorry but...you're wrong here. It's not an opinion. Private companies can do censorship. The difference is when they censor things, they're not violating your rights by doing it. Like the instance above with Comedy Central censoring Mohammed in the South Park episode. That is some straight up censorship.

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

    No, it's not, because to say that it's censorship is to claim that he somehow had a right to the company's platform.

    "Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. "
    https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/what-censorship

    I don't agree with that definition. In fact, it's a good example of what I mean by free speech maximalism.

    Bully for you. Unfortunately you aren't the definition police.

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  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    You know, I can get the homosexuality thing. He's from the deep south, born again, and having lived that life a long time ago, a lot of it is predicated on hating things. Hate the sin, love the sinner. It doesn't give him a pass, because ignorant douchebags will say ignorant douchebag things. Ultimately, nothing of value is lost.

    My problem is with this gem:

    Phil On Growing Up in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana
    “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

    Jim Crow was a better life? Everyone was happy, and things were less complicated back then, 'cause whitey was callin' the shots? Keep your place boy, least you get lynched? Hurry up and die of something. We need to weed assholes like you out of the population.



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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    Honestly, this is A&E's fault. They knew that if you throw a rock anywhere in the South, 9 times out of ten you are going to hit someone who is homophobic and/or racist. It's the South. I'm currently living in Alabama and that kind of thinking is something you see here even from my generation (I'm currently 24).

    Plus, look at Duck Dynasty's core audience. Southern Christian Rednecks. This guy is speaking only what they are thinking. If A&E is stupid enough to think they wouldn't deal with this before too long, then they need to get in another business.

    This guy had the right to say what he wanted to say. Just as gay people have the right to hold parades and wear assless chaps in board daylight. A&E has the right to kick him off the show. And his family can quit the show and still be rich as shit. This is another pointless debate.

    The show is so popular precisely because it features a group of quirky southerners who do and say what they want, and are proud of it. There's a huge portion of this country that enjoys seeing that, and likes to have their own belief system confirmed. The Duck Dynasty guys (and I'm assuming A&E) have gotten filthy rich off of their particular brand of southern attitude and hijinks. They made a good living off of their hunting merchandise, but they're gazillionaires now that they're selling licensed shit at Walmart. We're probably a few months away from camoed tampons. I'm sure A&E were happy enough as long as they were the ones controlling the content and message.

    I don't feel bad for anyone involved in this.

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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Is it really censorship when it occurs after the remarks have been published?

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Nightslyr wrote: »
    Is it really censorship when it occurs after the remarks have been published?

    Well, in this instance he is being punished but not censored. Nobody is censoring his words, he is just being punished for them.

    And I use the word "punished" loosely, because he hasn't been fired, and he will still be on TV since the current season has already finished filming and A&E will be showing it at it's regularly scheduled times and dates.

    I'm sure his "indefinite" suspension will miraculously be lifted right before the next season starts filming.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    If I went on facebook and said the stuff he said and my boss caught wind I'd be fired too

    it's not censorship when your employer distances themselves from you after you prove to not only have shitty views, but you make them public

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

    No, it's not, because to say that it's censorship is to claim that he somehow had a right to the company's platform.

    "Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. "
    https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/what-censorship

    I don't agree with that definition. In fact, it's a good example of what I mean by free speech maximalism.

    Well, I'm sorry but...you're wrong here. It's not an opinion. Private companies can do censorship. The difference is when they censor things, they're not violating your rights by doing it. Like the instance above with Comedy Central censoring Mohammed in the South Park episode. That is some straight up censorship.

    Or, it could be that Viacom, not wanting to anger a demographic and hurt ratings, decided that it didn't want to be party to Parker and Stone's particular speech. Which they have every right to do.

    This is why I don't agree with that definition, and find it dangerous.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    This isn't censorship or content selection. He didn't say this on the show, its not an act of censoring. Its firing him because he said offensive stuff elsewhere.

    Which is more problematic to me in a worker protection kind of way. He shouldn't get fired for being at a gay pride parade, whether he was there to march in it or there to protest it. Obviously the nature of being an on air personality and all that are a bit different from being a factory worker.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    No, this is not censorship. Freedom of speech neither guarantees you protection from the repercussions of your speech, nor does it guarantee you a platform.

    We've been seeing a sort of "free speech maximalism" as of late that I think is ultimately corrosive to free speech.

    This is still censorship. A private company can censor someone, they just can't violate your First Amendment rights.

    No, it's not, because to say that it's censorship is to claim that he somehow had a right to the company's platform.

    "Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. "
    https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/what-censorship

    I don't agree with that definition. In fact, it's a good example of what I mean by free speech maximalism.

    Bully for you. Unfortunately you aren't the definition police.

    Neither is the ACLU.

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  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    Seems like some of you are under the impression that the demographic for Duck Dynasty is red necks, which is hilariously wrong.

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Demodog It's a play on wordsRegistered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Seems like some of you are under the impression that the demographic for Duck Dynasty is red necks, which is hilariously wrong.

    Rednecks are a demographic for Duck Dynasty.

    Friends don't lie.
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I understand that more than just rednecks watch the show, but I don't have any one I know outside of rednecks who watch it.

    Then again, I don't have white friends in RL because I don't work with them.

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    This isn't censorship or content selection. He didn't say this on the show, its not an act of censoring. Its firing him because he said offensive stuff elsewhere.

    Which is more problematic to me in a worker protection kind of way. He shouldn't get fired for being at a gay pride parade, whether he was there to march in it or there to protest it. Obviously the nature of being an on air personality and all that are a bit different from being a factory worker.

    The thing is, his job for A&E is essentially PR, and an interview with GQ is another form of PR. So, while the interview may have been "on his own time," its ultimate purpose was to keep/generate momentum for the show.

    I could see your point if these comments were captured by someone with a cellphone while he was talking to someone semi-privately at a bar or something, but he was essentially making bigoted comments while on the clock.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Arguing over whether or not this was "censorship" is kinda missing the point, unless you legitimately want to have an argument over the dictionary definition of a word.

    Old dude said some hateful and/or incredibly stupid things, A&E said, "Whoa there," and exercised their right to no longer promote said dude or provide him a platform on which to speak. Meanwhile, the government had fuck-all to do with it, so there are no Constitutional rights being violated. Nobody is questioning that these are the facts, only which word should be used to refer to these facts, which is not really interesting.

    The interesting debate is over whether or not A&E's handling was the best approach, or (I suppose) whether or not Old Dude should have said those things.

    Me, I think this was certainly a morally defensible course of action for A&E. Whether or not it's the best move from a bottom-line point of view? I don't know. The cynic in me wants to say that they could've made more money by trying to ignore the manner, because I think the racist homophobe demographic is larger than the cares-enough-about-gay-rights-to-boycott-A&E crowd. So in that sense, good on A&E (though, yes, this was probably strictly a bottom-line decision).

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    http://www.uproxx.com/tv/2013/12/phil-robertson-duck-dynasty-said-gay-people-ruthless-full-murder-2010-speech/

    Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions,” Robertson said in the 2010 speech. “They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil. That’s what you have 235 years, roughly, after your forefathers founded the country.” [Business Insider]

    I'm so so glad this guy is giving a voice to a downtrodden group in merica. The great american bigot.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    I personally don't think any of this shit is real.

    The ENTIRE thing is more publicity for A&E and Duck Dynasty. I don't think the stories will have a negative impact on viewership, and instead drum up an IMMENSE amount of coverage for the channel and the show. I think that every single repetition of this, down to this thread, contributes to their marketing ploy.

    If you look back, there's already been another instance of the show supposedly being "too religious" for A&E, which drummed up a massive conservative backlash and lots of show discussion. Something to do with allegedly asking them not to pray in the show.

    Now this is going on, and I strongly suspect A&E is eager to keep this in the news, because it massively spikes awareness of their programs.

    It's weird guerrilla-marketing using media scandals.

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Nightslyr wrote: »
    This isn't censorship or content selection. He didn't say this on the show, its not an act of censoring. Its firing him because he said offensive stuff elsewhere.

    Which is more problematic to me in a worker protection kind of way. He shouldn't get fired for being at a gay pride parade, whether he was there to march in it or there to protest it. Obviously the nature of being an on air personality and all that are a bit different from being a factory worker.

    The thing is, his job for A&E is essentially PR, and an interview with GQ is another form of PR. So, while the interview may have been "on his own time," its ultimate purpose was to keep/generate momentum for the show.

    I could see your point if these comments were captured by someone with a cellphone while he was talking to someone semi-privately at a bar or something, but he was essentially making bigoted comments while on the clock.

    Same as if you are in the military and you go to a strip club in uniform. You get punished for it.

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