Rarely one to mince words, Mayor Annise Parker has added her two cents to the Duck Dynasty controversy. Patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended from the popular A&E show after making controversial remarks about gays and blacks in the January issue of GQ. The suspension left the show's future in doubt and infuriated fans while raising issues of free speech and hatemongering.
The mayor, the nation's first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, told Lone Star Q, a website that covers news concerning the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Texas:
I have never watched ‘Duck Dynasty,’ so I don’t think about it much at all. I’ve been a gay community activist since the mid-70s. It was a very different time. We were fighting to keep people out of jails and mental hospitals. What some redneck wingnut has to say about the GLBT community is completely irrelevant.”
She followed up with a tweet affirming her interview quote:
When i called Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty "a redneck wingnut whose views are completely irrelevant" I was serious. Who cares?-A— Annise Parker (@anniseparker) December 21, 2013
With the state political primaries around the corner, it's not surprising that at least one candidate, Republican candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, weighed in. He called Parker to apologize "to the millions of Conservative Christians who live in Houston and Texas," according to a statement released Saturday.
"Just because Annise Parker believes Phil Robertson's comments are irrelevant doesn't mean that many of her constituents don't only consider them to be relevant, but also timely," Miller said.
Duck Dynasty drew 11.8 million viewers in August for the debut of its fourth season, a record for a cable nonfiction series, according to A&E. The show is scheduled to return next month; the first nine episodes have been filmed and the bearded, 67-year-old Robertson will appear in them. Only one episode for season five remains to be shot.