Duck Dynasty debate: Personal development coach gives his take

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- There's been a lot of buzz over the past few days about the TV show "Duck Dynasty", after the family's patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended from the series indefinitely for making disparaging remarks about gays.

A&E announced Wednesday what it called a "hiatus" for Robertson, 67, after he disparaged gays in the January edition of GQ magazine. He also said that, growing up in Louisiana before the Civil Rights movement, he never saw mistreatment of blacks.

Personal development coach and valley resident Larry Winget actually appeared on A& E's reality show Big Spender. He stopped by Good Morning Arizona Friday to offer some thoughts on the Duck Dynasty debate.

"He does have the right to say anything he wants," says Winget, the author who calls himself the Pitbull of Personal Development. "It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. This whole issue is an issue of his belief system is not in alignment with the belief system of A&E and their market and their  brand. When that happens, you don't get to go out there and say whatever you want to. There would be repercussions. I don't get to say whatever I want to. It would limit my employment opportunities. That's the way it is in the real world."

Winget went on to say that he doesn't think either side is wrong. "Phil...stood up for his beliefs unapologetically," he says. "However A&E...has a belief system that's in alignment with the values of their network and their brand, and they stood up for them."

In a statement, A&E said it was extremely disappointed to see Robertson's anti-gay remarks, which it said were based on his personal beliefs and do not reflect those of A&E Networks or the show. A&E Networks, a joint venture of The Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., called itself a supporter of the lesbian and gay community.

The Roberstson family responded with this statement: "We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right."

The statement continued: "We have had a successful working relationship with A&E, but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm."