Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was the victim of a walkout during the commencement ceremony at Louisiana Tech this weekend. According to MSNBC, the walkout was in response to a campaign led by the LGBT community at the school (called Prism). Robertson was the university’s honored guest this year, and no one found out about it until Friday — just one day before graduation. Without enough reaction time, the online campaign and subsequent protest were all people could do to show their disapproval.
The university released the following statement following the protest:
“The right to express and debate differences in opinions, ideologies, and values is at the core of a university community, and Louisiana Tech certainly supports its faculty in this exercise of free expression.”
The Duck Dynasty/ Phil Robertson announcement caused a social media campaign that was represented by the hashtag “#NoHonorInBigotry.” Several faculty members showed their support by actually getting up from their seats and walking out of the graduation ceremony, according to KNOE.com.
Hannah Ellsworth, President of Prism, said:
“We wanted to make a statement displaying our disapproval of the honoring, and for several reasons, including the minimal time we were given to react, a social media campaign was the best way to do this. Faculty, staff, and students didn’t have any time to give input since no one new until the day before.”
Tim S. West, President of Equality Louisiana, said:
“I was very happy to hear that some of the faculty members walked out of the commencement ceremony in protest. I think that sends a very strong message. The views held by Robertson are not the views held by all Louisianians.”
Naturally, Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson fans have fired back against the protest, saying that the faculty members who walked out should be fired. Some believe that the faculty should have respected the decision that the university made and should have also respected Phil in the process — even if they don’t agree with his beliefs. At the same time, others feel as though the walkout was beyond appropriate and have been showing support on social media sites by continuing the use of the aforementioned hashtag.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Duck Dynasty family has been faced with tons of criticism following anti-gay remarks made a numerous occasions. Several boycotts have since ensued, with people refusing to show up at events where the Robersons have been invited.
Do you think the faculty should have walked out of graduation because of Phil Robertson’s presence? Sound off in the comments below.
[Photo courtesy of Karolina Wojtasik / A&E]