Truth from Dare: ‘Duck Dynasty’ drama

Dec. 26, 2013 | 4 Comments

BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Unless you’ve sworn off social media and aren’t a fan of watching or reading the news, you’ve probably heard about the drama unfolding around reality show “Duck Dynasty.”

In a nutshell, conservative family patriarch and duck call inventor Phil Robertson paralleled homosexuality to acts of bestiality, adultery and prostitution. He also claimed African Americans were content before the advent of America’s civil rights movement.

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson was suspended earlier this month for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (Courtesy A&E)

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson was suspended earlier this month for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (Courtesy A&E)

I’m definitely someone who believes everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’m actually fine with Robertson having the beliefs he does. Not a popular sentiment, I know, but I have to respect the fact he’s entitled to his thoughts on the matter if I want people to respect that I’m allowed to feel the way I do.

The problem isn’t so much Robertson’s opinion as is it is that he’s on a television show airing on a cable network that makes its revenue from advertising. It’s fine to have an opinion, but if you’re in the public eye you have an understood responsibility to be politically correct. It may not be right, but it is what it is in an industry ruled by the almighty dollar.

You can have your beliefs Mr. Robertson, but if those beliefs are controversial, there are often consequences — as was the case when A&E suspended him from “Duck Dynasty” earlier this month.

Phil Robertson, second from right, flanked by his sons Jase Robertson, left, and Willie Robertson in a scene from the popular A&E reality show "Duck Dynasty." (Courtesy A&E)

Phil Robertson, second from right, flanked by his sons Jase Robertson, left, and Willie Robertson in a scene from the popular A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty.” (Courtesy A&E)

I don’t watch the show, so I don’t know if he’s an inherently good or bad person. It could be a generational thing; older people grew up in a different time where they didn’t think certain things were wrong. As we’ve progressed as a nation, we’ve learned the value of humanity and equality. While that doesn’t make ignorant beliefs okay, it does put them into perspective.

On a happier note, if you’re looking to cure your holiday hangover, there’s lot going on this week. The highlight for me will be seeing Pepper play live on Saturday, Dec 28. The Big Island boys are back and slated to put on a high energy show to close out 2013.

The last time I saw them was five years ago, so I’m definitely looking forward to this concert. Back then, they played for two hours and kept the crowd rocking out the whole time. Since that show, Pepper has racked up quite a few more hits, so this weekend should be stellar.

Speaking of wrapping up 2013, next week I’ll recap my favorite things that happened during this whirlwind of a year.
When he’s not out and about at the hottest parties and other events in Honolulu, Derin “Dare” Derego works as an account executive at a local radio station group. Reach him via email at or follow him on Twitter.

  • Michael Wallace

    While I understand that political correctness may be expected when someone is in the public eye in your opinion, it is not the way things are…is Kanye, Farrakhan, or pastors on televised evangelism networks PC when the discuss the same topics. Phil is not running for public office. What did A&E expect a 65 year old man from Louisiana deep in the bible belt to say when interviewed about this topic? He was asked for his opinion and he gave it. I do not agree with all of it but it is his free right to give. A&E is violating his freedom of religion and speech. At one point they told him he was not allowed to pray on his show but he said we pray or we walk.You also misquote him. He was speaking for the black people he was working alongside back during that time and not for all blacks but those he knew. PC has a time and place but using it to stifle freedom and religion is UN-American in my opinion as a service member.

    • Derinderego

      freedome of speech isn’t guaranteed in the workplace… u can’t say whatever you want on the job… its all moot now that he got put back on the show… proving my point that the all mighty dollar rules all.

      • Michael Wallace

        He wasn’t in the workplace when he gave his opinions. I agree you cannot say whatever you want in the workplace because at some point the boundary of free speech overrides and crosses the path of violating others rights by harrassment/sexual harrassment/racial remarks/sexist remarks/etc. A little self control is prudent. A&E is paying this family to be themselves on the show though. He came back to the show because he was the show. The family would not go on the air without him. You could say it was a dollar inspired move by A&E. I feel like the petition to boycott and not watch the network by hundreds of thousands made a much stronger statement to them because that would have dented their pocket severely in network ratings. I do enjoy your reports on the Honolulu nightlife though..keep up the great work.

  • walt

    your second/3rd sentence is just bad,skewed and taken off Context. You and many who are following this know what i mean. You worded it to fit your Narrative.Not only that but the question was so loaded their was no way out on that question, he was doomed the moment he sat. your 2nd/3rd sentence is totally untrue.Disgraceful.maybe you should have stated that he was ASKED what his opinion was and gave it without seeking help from his PR people or a lawyer. When did Gays and the black Community become Proponents of Censorship anyway Huh?