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December 18, 2013

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HRC & NAACP to A+E: Apology Needed for ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star’s Racist, Homophobic Rant

12/18/2013

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, today sent a letter to A+E President and Chief Executive Officer Nancy Dubuc, calling on her to disavow the racist and homophobic comments made by ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson.

In a recent GQ interview, Robertson said that African Americans were happier during the era of Jim Crow laws: “Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”  He also equated being gay with bestiality and promiscuity, saying: “Start[s] with homosexual behavior and just morph[s] out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

In today’s letter, HRC president Chad Griffin and NAACP interim president Lorraine Miller called on A+E to take responsibility for Robertson’s words, and explained why they were so inaccurate and offensive:

“These remarks go beyond being outlandishly inaccurate and offensive. They are dangerous and revisionist, appealing to those in our society who wish to repeat patterns of discrimination. We urge A+E to immediately denounce and repudiate Robertson’s comments. Furthermore, we call on you to see that Phil Robertson apologizes for his vitriolic comments. Surely a brand like A+E does not want to be associated with such racist and homophobic remarks.

“We want to be clear why Phil Robertson’s remarks are not just dangerous but also inaccurate. Mr. Robertson claims that, from what he saw, African Americans were happier under Jim Crow. What he didn’t see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street.  And his offensive claims about gay people fly in the face of science. In fact, it’s important to note that every single leading medical organization in the country has said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBT – it’s not a choice, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous.

“…When a figure from a popular show like ‘Duck Dynasty’ makes such disparaging remarks about entire communities of people, we cannot allow it to go unnoticed. No doubt there are both African Americans and LGBT people among the millions of viewers of both ‘Duck Dynasty’ and other programs across A+E’s media platform. Those viewers who have demonstrated loyalty to your network deserve to hear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, and that Americans won’t stand for Phil Robertson’s comments. That’s why we’re so hopeful you will move swiftly to condemn his remarks.”

The full letter is available here.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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