Earlier this month, Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify after a group of doctors called out Rogan for his interview of a man who has spread COVID-19 misinformation. Then India Arie revealed on Instagram that the podcaster had repeatedly used the N-word.
As a result, the 54-year-old Rogan apologized and the streaming service pulled dozens of past episodes of his podcast from circulation.
Meanwhile, Goldberg was suspended for two weeks as co-host of “The View” following her remarks about Jews and the Holocaust. The comments were made during a discussion about a Tennessee school board’s banning of “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Nazi death camps during World War II. The 66-year-old said the Holocaust was “not about race … it’s about man’s inhumanity to other man.” While she apologized hours later, the original statement drew condemnation from several prominent Jewish leaders.
Robertson, the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch, told Fox News Digital he didn’t think silencing Rogan or Goldberg was the answer.
“Canceling people may shut them up, but it doesn’t change anyone’s convictions,” the 75-year-old said. “I’m about helping people shift their attention away from the lies of the evil one and focusing on Christ. The only way we can do that is to have a discussion. This is why I’m not for canceling even the most outrageous people like Whoopi Goldberg. “
“Let her talk,” he continued. “Show her the same respect you want shown to your side of the political spectrum. Same thing with Joe Rogan – if the people who are screaming are all that confident that they are right, why are they so afraid of his speech?”
Robertson also noted that Young, 76, has his own history with controversy.
“I hope Neil Young will remember, he’s said some outrageous things too,” he said. “Treat others the way you want to be treated. If [Whoopi’s] wrong (and I think she probably is), it’ll come to light as soon as we engage in a conversation.” (In his comment, Robertson alluded to the lyrics of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1974 hit song “Sweet Home Alabama,” which criticized Young.)
The “Duck Dynasty” star memorably faced cancel culture long before it went mainstream.
It was 2013 when A&E suspended Robertson for equating gay people with hell-bound sinners in a GQ interview. A firestorm resulted among his legions of defenders who felt the star was being censored by the network, which later reinstated him.
Robertson reflected on the backlash he and his family endured in a new book titled “Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation.” It explores how today’s cancel culture can be faced with one’s Christian faith.
“The ones who attacked me, I didn’t hold it against them,” Robertson previously told Fox News Digital. “They asked me a question about a particular sin, homosexual behavior. And they asked if I believed it was a sin. I thought to myself, that’s a weird question to ask someone, but I just quoted a Bible verse. … I quoted what God had to say about that sin and nine other sins, but it was in the list of sins. … As we were doing ‘Duck Dynasty,’ the upper crowd at A&E decided to drop the ax on me without first looking into what went down.”
According to the outlet, Robertson was asked, “What, in your mind, is sinful?” Robertson replied, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” The outlet shared he also paraphrased Corinthians from the Bible: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
The suspension earned immediate praise from gay rights groups. Conservative fans argued that their viewpoints were often overlooked by Hollywood and the media. More than a half-million people liked an impromptu Facebook page demanding the show be boycotted until Robertson returned.
“They put me on what they called an indefinite hiatus,” Robertson explained. “I said, ‘I think I may be getting fired, right?’ Hiatus says you’re not part of the program anymore. After nine days they reinstated me, but we had all kinds of sponsors that just took off. They had made a mockery of what I said. All I did was quote a Bible verse. And as a result, they tried to cancel me. But it didn’t cancel me at all. I still love them. I don’t hate anyone.”
“The Bible teaches us to love thy neighbor even with their mistakes,” he shared.
Robertson said he has no regrets about doing the GQ interview.
“No regrets at all – none,” he said. “I just went on. I never called A&E and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I never said a word when they came to visit me about 10 days after this all went down. I said, ‘Guys, did y’all ever hear from me with some kind of irate phone call? ‘Cause you were firing me?’ They said, ‘Mr. Robertson, you never said a word.’ … I quoted a Bible verse that dealt with homosexual behavior. I just quoted the Bible verse that God had written through Paul the Apostle by the power of the Holy Spirit… I didn’t dream it off the top of my head. It didn’t go any further than that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.