Edition: Global Global Select Region
Email: Passwd: or sign up free
One News Page
One News Page > US > ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson: What Are His Legal Options?
Open news article

‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson: What Are His Legal Options?

‘Duck Dynasty Star Phil Robertson What Are His: The WrapThe Wrap
Friday, 20 December 2013

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson found himself out of a job on Wednesday — at least for the time being — when he was indefinitely suspended him from the hit A&E reality show, after he made several anti-gay remarks in a GQ interview.

It remains to be seen whether Robertson will be reinstated on the show — and it very well could turn out that, after a time-out session to let the controversy cool down, he could be back. But if the Robertson family patriarch doesn’t return to the show, does he have legal recourse against the network that airs the series?

*Also read:* ‘Duck Dynasty’: Inside the Decision to Suspend Phil Robertson (Exclusive)

While the specifics of Robertson’s agreement with A&E aren’t known, entertainment-industry protocol suggests that he would likely have have an uphill battle.

TheWrap spoke to multiple legal experts who said that, if Robertson’s contract contained a morals clause — as if often the case with on-air talent — than the reality TV star has little in the way of legal recourse.

*Also read:* ‘Duck Dynasty’ Fallout: GLAAD Reeling From Biggest Backlash in Years, Says Rep

Often, such morals clauses note that, if talents speaks or acts in a way that insults or denigrates people, the producer reserves the right to suspend or terminate that talent.

And typically, defining such language or actions is left to the discretion of the studio — basically, “if we say it is so, it is.” Tough to mount a legal argument against that.

*Also read:* ‘Duck Dynasty’: 5 Other Crazy Phil Robertson Quotes From the GQ Article

“My guess is that they [suspended Robertson] on the basis of a morality clause,” one entertainment attorney told TheWrap on Wednesday. “Once you sign a reality show contract, they own you.”

Entertainment attorney Neville Johnson also noted that talent agreements generally tend to favor the networks. “If you see these talent agreements, they basically say they can do everything except torture you,” Johnson said.

While some — notably, failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin — raised the issue of free speech in defense of Robertson, the “Duck Dynasty” star isn’t likely to find legal recourse under the banner of the First Amendment, as that only protects citizens from infringement on the government’s part.

*Also read:* ‘Duck Dynasty’: How Phil Robertson Became an Instant Conservative Martyr

“He has no First Amendment [complaint] against A&E,” Eugene Volokh, a professor at  UCLA School of Law told TheWrap. “The First Amendment, the first word of the First Amendment is Congress: ‘Congress shall make no law.’”

And what of the possibility of arguing religious discrimination? While it’s true that Robertson’s anti-gay comments were couched in the context of Robertson’s religious beliefs, Volokh doesn’t see that as a likely success.

“It doesn’t sound like they were taking him off the show because they don’t like the fact that his message is religious; I think they don’t like the fact that his message is anti-gay,” Volokh said. “And people of various religions and no religions, some of them  are anti-gay. and i imagine if an atheist on an A&E show said things that A&E thought disapproved of homosexuality, they would deal with it the same way.”

The post ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson: What Are His Legal Options? appeared first on TheWrap.

*Related stories from TheWrap:*

'Duck Dynasty' Fallout: GLAAD Reeling From Biggest Backlash in Years, Says Rep

'Duck Dynasty': Inside the Decision to Suspend Phil Robertson (Exclusive)

Sean Hannity, 'Duck Dynasty' Fans Target A&E Executives as Phil Robertson Fallout Gets Personal

'Duck Dynasty': 5 Other Crazy Phil Robertson Quotes From the GQ Article

'Duck Dynasty': How Phil Robertson Became an Instant Conservative Martyr
0
shares
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comment
 
Source: Newsy - on December 21, 2013

News video: Congressional Candidate Likens Phil Robertson To Rosa Parks

Congressional Candidate Likens Phil Robertson To Rosa Parks

Illinois Congressional candiate, Ian Bayne, compared "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Recent related news

Open news article

Inside the Lavish Life That Put Bob McDonnell and His Wife In Court

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are currently standing trial on federal corruption charges in what is already shaping up to be the...
ABCNews.com 2 hours ago - Politics

Open news article

One Direction star Zayn Malik receives death threats

One Direction star Zayn Malik is receiving death threats from upset fans after he waded into the Gaza conflict. The singer, 21, shared the #FreePalestine...
DNA 2 days ago - Front Page

Open news article

'Football and competition are in my blood' - Cristiano Ronaldo talks Goal 50, Real Madrid & his hopes for new season

'Football and competition are in my blood' - Cristiano Ronaldo talks Goal 50, Real Madrid & his hopes for new season
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: The Real Madrid star is honoured to top Goal's list for the third time, but says team glory is what really motivates him and he wants more...
Goal.com 2 days ago - Sports

Open news article

Ready Steady Cook star Tony Tobin joins Shane Richie on the set...

Ready Steady Cook star Tony Tobin joins Shane Richie on the set...
EASTENDERS has had its share of power couples; The Mitchell Brothers, Phil and Sharon, Cat and Alfie, Den and Angie...but now there is a new team in town.Ready...
Surrey Mirror 2 days ago - UK

Open news article

'Outlander' Writer Initially Thought Star Sam Heughan Was 'Grotesque'

SAN DIEGO — Outlander star Sam Heughan drew massive screams from the crowd at a panel for the show on Friday at Comic Con, but during the casting process to...
Mashable 5 days ago - Internet

Open news article

What's the deal with 'Seinfeld' coming to Netflix?

What's the deal with 'Seinfeld' coming to Netflix?
Jerry Seinfeld has confirmed that he is in talks to bring his iconic comedy series Seinfeld to Netflix. Speaking in an AMA question and answer session on...
The Verge 6 days ago - Technology

Open news article

Ray Rice To Be Suspended 2 Games For Knocking Out Fiancee Turned Wife

Back in February, Ray Rice and his then fiancee, Janay Palmer, were spotted getting into an altercation on video and it looked he knocked her unconscious in an...
Hip-Hop Wired 6 days ago - Entertainment

Open news article

Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused

Louis van Gaal last night revealed what a demanding Manchester United manager he will be, publicly berating players including Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw in...
Independent 1 week ago - Sports


You Might Like


Other recent news in US

Mysterious 'Woman in Black' under POLICE protection in VirginiaPolice Ask For Respect For "WOMAN in Black"
Police: 8-year-old boy fatally shot in DETROIT while sleepingNEW YORK police unions lose bid to challenge stop-and-frisk settlement
WISCONSIN woman reported missing in Mountain View found safe in OaklandWhich Parts of New York City Should the SHARKNADO Destroy?
Rikers Island Correction Officers Accused Of Trafficking Drugs Into PRISONHow IMMIGRATION Detentions Profit Prison Companies
Chrissy Teigen Stuns on Red Carpet and has TV Breakdown on TWITTERCANCER-Stricken Dad, 86, Dies After Son Tries to Kill Him: Cops

Twitter


Comments

Load Comments

Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2014 One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Press Room  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Content Accreditation
One News Page - Top Headlines RSS Feed RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Advertise  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |  One News Page on Facebook LIKE us on Facebook  One News Page on Twitter FOLLOW us on Twitter  One News Page on Google+ FIND us on Google+