Three Totally Gay Thoughts About Phil Robertson and Duck Dynastygate

A Few Observations from Media Guy -- Who, for the Record, Is Also a Lover, Not a Hater

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Cracker Barrel said its attempt to avoid offense had offended its customers
Cracker Barrel said its attempt to avoid offense had offended its customers

In the spirit of this season of giving, I'm offering you my totally gay two cents about Duck Dynastygate. And by "gay," I mean old-school gay -- festive, don-we-now-our-gay-apparel gay -- because it's almost Christmas, y'all, and I'm happy about that! (If you don't want this post, just regift it.)

1. We need a strong don't-ask-don't-tell policy about "man's anus."

I just want to say that if you're a person who's obviously given a lot of thought to homosexuality and the relative desirability of "a man's anus," as Phil Robertson, star of A&E's "Duck Dynasty," so poetically put it to GQ magazine, it's OK. I don't judge you. I'm a lover, not a hater. But you should know that, really, it's totally fine if you keep your feelings about homosexuality and men's anuses to yourself -- even if you're talking to GQ, which has been known, over the years, to employ a few anus-having male homosexuals (including its current editor-in-chief, Jim Nelson*). Help is available! There are ministries and other organizations that can help you suppress your thoughts so that you don't bring them up in interviews with magazines run by homosexuals.

2. If someone gets suspended, it's usually worse than it looks.

I confess to not being too exercised by the initial revelation via GQ that Robertson is not such a big fan of the gays. Old beardy dude who lives is a swampy, Deep South bubble thinks that homosexuals won't "inherit the kingdom of God"? Pass the Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Minis, I'm bored already. But when A&E suspended him, I thought, woah, there's got to be something more to this story -- something A&E isn't telling us.

And, it turns out, there is: Phil Robertson isn't just a little homophobic, he's violently, virulently, scarily, obsessively anti-gay. Just in case you haven't seen this yet, TMZ unearthed a 2010 YouTube video in which he spoke at the Berean Bible Church of Pennsylvania's Wild Game Supper. As Neal Broverman of the gay news magazine The Advocate put it on Saturday, "He doesn't just disavow marriage equality or employment rights, his speech is like something out of Uganda or Russia." Here's a, uh, highlight of what Robertson says about gays:

Women with women, men with men -- they committed indecent acts with one another and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. 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!

Oh dear.

3. It's awfully fun watching corporations do damage control on their damage control.

As The Chicago Tribune reports, "The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain, two days after removing 'Duck Dynasty'-related products from its shelves, said Sunday it was putting them back -- and apologized to fans of the reality series." Here's the chain's full letter to its customers:

Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:

When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that's just what we've done.

You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren't shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.

We listened.

Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.

And, we apologize for offending you.

We respect all individuals' right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.

We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.

Now, you may be wondering: What does Cracker Barrel think about homosexuality? Does Cracker Barrel have strong feelings, one way or another, about men's anuses?

Here's the great thing: This statement doesn't say! And I like it that way.

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*I mean, I presume Jim Nelson has an anus. Some things are difficult to fact-check.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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