Yesterday, the Roseanne reboot was canceled after one of Roseanne Barr’s many racist tweets went too far. During this whole incident, I couldn’t help but remember the controversy that ensued 5 years ago when Duck Dynasty was cancelled after Phil Robertson made bigoted comments in a magazine interview. Have we learned nothing since then?
In 2013, after GQ published an interview with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, deserved condemnation was harsh and swift. There were two bombshell moments. First:
“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 says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
“All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”
If you’re a television company, know your actors. Roseanne Barr had a whole slew of racist and unhinged tweets! Phil Robertson self-described himself as a “redneck” with conservative views! Did executives believe that they wouldn’t eventually express themselves openly about their ideologies?