GLAAD, an advocacy group that supports gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders is facing unprecedented backlash in after criticizing Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson for his controversial anti-gay comments, according to a rep.
After A&E indefinitely suspended Robertson for the crude comments about gay relationships and other remarks in an interview with GQ magazine, GLAAD demanded the network rethink it’s allegiance with the Duck Dynasty star.
GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said at the time:
“He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples.”
Now, the tables have turned on GLAAD and they are the ones facing backlash because of their condemnation of Robertson.
Rich Ferraro, vice president of communications for GLAAD told The Wrap:
“In the five-and-a-half years I’ve worked at GLAAD, I’ve never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments.”
Ferraro argues that the attacks come from those who agree with the Duck Dynasty star’s positions, as well as those who believe that the suspension is in effect an attempt to censor Robertson’s free speech right. He adds:
“I don’t think this is about the first amendment. I feel it’s more about the America we live in today. That is one where Americans, gay and straight, are able to speak out when people in the public eye make anti-gay and racist remarks.”
After Robertson’s suspension he has received an outpouring of support from many high-profile conservatives including former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who have all criticized A&E for caving to the pressure from liberal groups.
Despite the attacks GLAAD is receiving after stating their position condemning Robertson’s remarks, Yahoo reports they still want to “educate” the Duck Dynasty patriarch.
A spokesperson for the civil rights organization said:
“We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share.”
Twitter was abuzz with harsh comments directed towards GLAAD. Below are just a few examples.
— Fred Nile (@frednile) December 22, 2013
— Patrick Dollard (@PatDollard) December 22, 2013
— Todd Kincannon (@ToddKBackup) December 22, 2013
— scubasteve(SSN771) (@JJMac_1) December 22, 2013
Phil Robertson also has several companies who stand firmly behind him and Duck Dynasty including Under Armour, Skydiver, Walmart, and Academy.
However, the show has also lost a major sponsor, after Cracker Barrel restaurants pulled Duck Dynasty merchandise labeling it offensive.
(UPDATE: since this article was written Cracker Barrel has reversed their ban of Duck Dynasty merchandise. Read the details here.)
GLAAD is the latest victim on the Duck Dynasty controversy that has taken the media industry by storm. We will keep watching and reporting on this story here at The Inquisitr, stay tuned.