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December 18th, 2013
11:47 PM ET

Don Lemon on anti-gay comments made by 'Duck Dynasty' star: "It's a lack of awareness ... it is deeply offensive"

On the heels of news surrounding reality television star Phil Robertson's indefinite suspension from A&E, on Wednesday Piers Morgan welcomed Don Lemon, asking his CNN colleague to share insight into an issue that continues to divide the nation.

Robertson, who stars in "Duck Dynasty," made a series of inflammatory anti-gay remarks in a recent magazine interview with GQ. While Lemon believes in free speech, he noted that with such rights come instances of regret:

"This is America, but this is what happens when you have true freedom of speech. You can say these things, and then you have to suffer the consequences. Look at what happened to Paula Deen, when she made comments, when she was accused of using the 'N' word, and admitted to it," recalled the host of CNN's "The 11th Hour." "It's offensive to me. I do believe in the right to free speech, but I think the marketplace should decide what should happen to this franchise, and it has been put on hold now."

Paraphrasing from the magazine article, Lemon reviewed some of Robertson's talking points, including the notion that his "Duck Dynasty" program has been largely successful due to the way in which it returns America to some of the country's more traditional values.

"It's deeply offensive to many people, and it shows that a lack of awareness on the part of certain individuals in this country, when it comes to how other people live and the rights that other people should have," he told the "Piers Morgan Live" host. "It's a lack of awareness, and [a window into] the way other people live and yes, it is deeply offensive."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's conversation with Don Lemon, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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  1. Evangelical

    Duck DDynasy should just move from whatever crap network they are on now to one that won't limit their free speech.

    If Obama can get away with lying to the American people then why can't whoever hate on gays?

    December 19, 2013 at 2:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Brigance

      I'm indifferent on the subject of free speech as it pertains to what he said, but from a strictly business perspective, given the prevailing sentiments, I would fire him too. That's just reality, so to speak.

      December 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Rocco

        "From a strictly business perspective, given the prevailing sentiments," A&E have screwed themselves hard.

        December 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • rich

        From a strictly business sense, you should also fire anyone who speaks out against Christian then.

        December 19, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kimchiman

        He is being fired from a interview in GQ, he did not say this on the show and on A&E. If he said it on the show, I could understand. But he was off the clock. A&E does not owned him 24/7, they are violating his rights, period. Otherwise, if you were my employee and you mark stupid remarks on the clock that could reflect the Company, yeah I could and might fire you. But I can and would not fire you for expressing your freedom out of work. So to you, I would fire you as your boss and reinstate him because of your stupidity!

        December 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trent Julian

      Nice twitter feed Pierce calling Phil a bigot and lashing out. What are you 3 years old and the only way anyone pays attention to you is to name call. Who's being intolerant and a bigot now?

      We all know the real reason you sent such vicious tweets was to get some ratings! Everyone knows you're at the bottom of the pool. Was this the last act of a desperate man...let us hope so!

      December 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Evangelical

    "This is what happens when you have true freedom of speech" – you are punished for exercising it? It is sickeningly Orwellian and the fact you liberals support it shows just how pathetic you are.

    You deserve Obama and his lies. History will remember you as losers.

    December 19, 2013 at 2:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Brigance

      So what you're saying is that you define free speech as people can say whatever they want and no one has the right to disagree? That would equate to censorship for those people who took issue with the comments, or should those people not be granted the same right to express disagreement. Isn't that a bit totalitarian?

      December 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Rocco

        Wow, John, you have an incredibly backwards, up-is-down mindset. I'm wondering how you manage to so much as wipe the snot from your own nose - let alone manage to formulate words using a keyboard - because from reading your comments it would seem that you're cognitively impaired.

        December 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kayen

        "So what you're saying is that you define free speech as people can say whatever they want and no one has the right to disagree?" Where is the free speech the left has jumped on Phil's comments as "hate speech" they are not interested in taking issue they want those opinions shut down- and that does equate to censorship – but not for the people who took issue but for they people who have opinions! And the left would prefer not grant the same right to express disagreement with their views. And yes that a bit totalitarian. It's exactly what the left wing communist want.

        December 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jenny M

    Megyn Kelly is so awesome. She defended this guy (even though she is just a normal, even-handed journalist). Really good for the internet during this dead time before the holidays. Tons of great stories right now about how off her nut she is. She didn't even get Jesus' color right. Christian researchers have pinpointed the exact color of Jesus and he was not white – he was color code F9FFD1 as seen here:

    December 19, 2013 at 2:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mike L.

    It seems even the openly gay Don Lemon stands up for the 1st amendment more than Piers Morgan. If the Duck Dynasty guy says offensive remarks in an interview, that is his right. The politically correct cowards at A & E don't believe he has a 1st amendment right......I guess Piers believes in speech codes, even more than Don Lemon.....who da thunk it?? Piers, you're pathetic!!!!!

    December 19, 2013 at 3:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Monica J

    I fully support the 1st. amendment. I fully support each individuals right to make their own choices in life. I was a faithful follower of this show until Piers made his comment about Phil Robertson. I am glad that Phil Robertson stood up for his beliefs. Shame on you Piers for not standing up for our 1st. Amendment but oh yeah that is right you are not an American.

    December 19, 2013 at 7:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Kevin L

    What is deeply offensive is when A&E denies this country and the world Phil's appearance on his show to satisfy the intolerant, selfish few out there.

    December 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mark Williams

    Don Lemon and I have never personally met, but we have had several conversations and email exchanges. He has also covered my own outbursts, and done so fairly. I know him as a person of personal integrity and courage, very much like my friend Tammy Bruce in that respect. It is good to know that my faith was, in the end, not misplaced.

    The Limey freak who took over from Larry King, on the other hand, needs to be deported.

    December 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maria

      Fact: The Bible was written in 323 AD (after death of the man called Jesus) by 150 MEN at the Counsel of Nicea from every variation of "stories", "gossip" and what some people wrote down according to their perspective during that time in history. It subjugated women and made them chattel; excluded Gnostics, because Religion was created as a source of fear to manipulate the masses. It is alive and continuing to control the illiterate masses with cruel and destructive stories.

      December 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Todd

        Nice internet surfing Maria. We all know everything on the net is true.

        December 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • meg4jesus

        You use the word "fact" loosely, Maria. The Bible had been around for a good 300 years when that council was held.

        As to the First Amendment and being offended, Christians have a right to free speech too, and frankly, I am offended by Gay men running around in public scantily clad and even stark naked. They're going to live how they choose to live, but they have no right to demand that others approve.

        December 19, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • rich

        Wow get your facts straight before saying they are facts.

        December 19, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sandman

    I find A&E's lack of sensitivity astounding. Suspending a Christian from a Christian show for Christian beliefs a week before Christmas? Wow...

    December 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. kpb

    Go Home !!! Your show along with CNN gets the ratings it deserves

    December 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. BronxPatriot

    I have been grossed out and offended by Miley Cyrus, and by the Times Square billboard that crossed CHRIST out of Christmas and many other things. But I have to suck it up and move on.
    Well, Lefties: Now it's YOUR TURN! You tolerant, accepting lot, SUCK IT UP!! Piers, you're an intolerant, bigoted person in your own right – against anyone who doesn't believe as you do!

    December 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Vaders

    Don Lemon said today on his show ...
    "Free Speech ceases to be free when somebody else doesn't like what you said."
    Is he out of his friggin mind or is he really ajendamized into the new commie/libtard/democrat fever of sleeze that rampates the halls of office and media at large.
    I believe both are true....As for the rest of your 2pm est. show, I wish I was there to rip you all on what you are doing and how I can use your own words and beliefs to prosecute the agenda you are on.
    You should take the willingness of the state and the weakness of the church, get your piece of life carved out and take your decissions out on God when you pass. What you are doing by calling out a religion on their beliefs like you did today is acting like bigots. You are saying that you can have your agenda at the expense of another when the remedy is acceptance by the state ONLY! But, further yet you have been accepted into many denominashions and even a majority in the public eye.
    Why should you be able to select out the pieces of someone elses religion and flaunt it's teachings in the face of it's followers?
    Now the LGBT voice of cnn has become are against God,Freedom of speech and moralistic views that do not confer with your lifestyle.
    You are what makes America sick.

    December 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maria

      Fact: The Bible was written in 323 AD (after death of the man called Jesus) by 150 MEN at the Counsel of Nicea from every variation of "stories", "gossip" and what some people wrote down according to their perspective during that time in history. It subjugated women and made them chattel; excluded Gnostics, because Religion was created as a source of fear to manipulate the masses. It is alive and continuing to control the illiterate masses with cruel and destructive stories.

      December 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Kayen

        Are you kidding me! Interesting how your faith in man (Deism !!CULT ALERT!!) overshadows the faith in God- Do you honestly believe that crap? Lets go down your rabbit hole for a second... First you would have to believe in God for a sec. Say the Bible (The Word of God) was written 325 years AD... do you honestly believe for one second that man could alter in anyway what his word... That would mean that man has power over God- those arguments are that of a child. You sheeple are so funny. On the day of Judgment I hope I am in line behind you, i can't wait to see the show!

        December 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kayen

        Your second link is of a cult too... I like the wagon wheel on the page, you probable don't even know what that symbolizes...
        You should really pick the Bible up and see what God has to say to you- the people publishing these sites in which you pollute you mind with probable have never even picked up the Bible (sad really I doubt you have even picked one up). You can always tell the cultist they spell God with a little 'g'.

        December 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |

    bravo goes to duck Dynasty –hang in there you are truly correct don't let the gay agenda be your agenda –we have to stand up for what is right. The Bible is very plain on their position. The Christians are correct in condemn the sin but love the sinner. There will be a time when we all have to stand before God and answer for our stewardship in this life. What we did with the body that was loaned to us by the Father. Phil Robertson stand up for what is right and don't listen to the gay community. There are more of us than there are of them because I am sick and tired of them pushing that this lifestyle is ok ....that is all I have to say and may they REPENT before it is too late.

    December 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Brigance

      The next great human epiphany will be the collective realization that religion is all bunk.

      December 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Maria

        Fact: The Bible was written in 323 AD (after death of the man called Jesus) by 150 MEN at the Counsel of Nicea from every variation of "stories", "gossip" and what some people wrote down according to their perspective during that time in history. It subjugated women and made them chattel; excluded Gnostics, because Religion was created as a source of fear to manipulate the masses. It is alive and continuing to control the illiterate masses with cruel and destructive stories.

        December 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Penny

    So you have Freedom of Speech to call Phil names, but that freedom does not extend to Phil unless you like what he says?

    December 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • rich

      Penny I see you understand the bigoted left.

      December 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Charlie Gilreath

    Piers proves once again he is not very bright. Not agreeing with a lifestyle does not make you a bigot. The lack of logic is profound – he calls Phil a racist – exactly what race is Gay.....more proof the liberals yell down any alternative views and expect us to accept theirs. The only thing lower than Piers IQ are his ratings.

    December 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • krismiss

      In that regard, Piers was obviously referring to the comments that Phil made about blacks.

      December 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob D.

      Nailed it!

      December 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Steve

    Piers, you are a boil on the backside of humanity that should be lanced, You show your lack of belief in freedom of speech for all with every show when you browbeat every guest you have on, not to mention the disgusting tweet you sent out about Phil Robertson. It is okay for you to have freedom of speech just not those you disagree with. You are a prime example of todays PC garbage. Phil is right and you are, as usual ,wrong. Your show is an insult to people who think for themselves. Please take your trivial opinions back to England as soon as you can. In closing I say to you if you would use your ears more than your mouth you might learn a few things.

    December 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Dave

    Piers Morgan, what gives you the right to exercise your freedom of speech and condemn Phil his right of freedom of speech. you sir are part of the moral decay of this country! CNN should fire you!!

    December 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Duane

    Piers can pack up and go back to England! Phil was asked his opinion and he gave it. How is it racist anyways, there's all colors gays. He didn't say he hated them just that it was a sin and it is that!! People are tired of Piers giving his opinion when it doesn't matter since he is not an American anyways!!

    December 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. L D Barton

    It is truly a shame when some people express their personal religious beliefs, and are lynched by fringe fanantical groups that have forced political correctness down the throats of the people in this country. If his comments had been said with hate and malice I could understand the outrage of the gay community. The Christian community should not fear expressing their beliefs, just as the LGBT should not have to fear expressing their beliefs. To immediately call for the cancellation of the show, or dismissal from the show, only shows the shallow mind with which the LGBT community think.

    December 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maria

      Fact: The Bible was written in 323 AD (after death of the man called Jesus) by 150 MEN at the Counsel of Nicea from every variation of "stories", "gossip" and what some people wrote down according to their perspective during that time in history. It subjugated women and made them chattel; excluded Gnostics, because Religion was created as a source of fear to manipulate the masses. It is alive and continuing to control the illiterate masses with cruel and destructive stories.

      December 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. jburgi

    Please suspend Morgan for his comments about Phil. I have never liked his show and just happened to run across his show because I had just replaced cable with Direct TV and I was checking out the channels. I found out in a hurry that Channel 202 will not be on my TV. He is a perfect reason why our founding fathers fought to win our independence.

    December 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Doug Downs

    Piers, you need to start attending church and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. The media was looking for ways to canned Phil Robertson, it wasn't long ago A/E and Phil mixed it up about the bleeps they were inserting in the show. I have no respect for you and CNN. You are a poster boy what's wrong in American society.

    December 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Stacy

    So we are good to go with people like Miley Cyrus but not Phil Robertson. Wow this country is heading in the wrong direction! Well, look at who is leading us? Is it any wonder free speech is for liberal views only?

    December 19, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. T. Man

    Mr. Robertson did not speak out of anger or hate when he answered these questions. He spoke from himself and from his faith. Anyone who attacks him for doing so only need look in the mirror for they are doing far worse than he did.

    December 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • marka lawson

      Phil Robertson, because he loves everyone and doesn't judge them for being who they are, actually has stronger moral values than the god he professes to worship. He should really reconsider who or what he considers to be his god. Really, if a human father would not sentence his own child to eternal torment for who he loves, why would an omnipotent father? Think about it.

      December 31, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  23. T. Man

    Piers Morgan with all his glitter, money and journalistic might is a much smaller "man" than Mr. Robertson ever will be.

    December 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  24. charlie potato head

    Morgan, Lemon, and Zucker found their audience.
    Make it GayTV and keep your anus yapping.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Nelson

    First, Phil Robertson's remarks need to be looked at in the context of the entire interview, not snippets highlighted to bolster points of view. He was simply responding honestly to questions in the context of a wide ranging interview on his home turf. The comments were not made on an A&E show yet A&E saw fit to react to comments that had no connection to their most popular show.
    I think A&E is wrong but as employers it is their pererogitive to decide when an employee's actions reflect poorly on the company image just as it is the Robertson clan's right to take their success to another channel.
    Having said that, Phil is a self-described Redneck, duck hunter, bible-thumper from Louisiana. What about what he thinks surprised A&E? I quite enjoy the show and think the Robertsons stand for many values I admire. I may not agree with all his religious views but as Si would say, "Hey," so what.
    As for PIers Morgan, he is a fraud as a journalist. He strikes me as far more intolerant than Phil Robertson.

    December 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  26. TrueReality

    Christians, and Jews before them, have been and will continue to be persecuted for preaching God's Law and repentance for sins to the world. Everyone is sinful, but everyone can come to God through Christ alone to have their sins forgiven. Phil Robertson understands this, but most of his critics do not.

    December 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Flavio

    Mr. Morgan
    Unfortunately you more and more forget that your audience expects more curtesy while moderating your show
    Let your guests make their points as well
    You fall in, you interrupt – not a bit better than the rest of the screamers (network newscasters)
    Sorry, very disappointed
    Where is Larry King?

    December 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  28. mopar myron

    Piers you are the one who is a viral Bigot. Your a hateful, angry, bitter person who can't accept decent
    wholesome spiritual family people like Phil. He never said a hateful thing like you, he only stated and described what is
    a sin. How can you support and promote freaks of nature. Frankly I feel sorry for them and you too.
    I must tough living in your skin every day. You liberals are the most unhappy and bitter people I know and
    intolerant as well.

    December 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Kayen

    Notice the typical leftist mentality _the 1st amendment is only ok as long as they agree with what you say. Lemon said ""This is America, but this is what happens when you have true freedom of speech" the left loves to shut people down if you say something that is not "politically correct" which snuffs Freedom of Speech- look at the idiot on MSN which basically said Palin should have someone crap in her mouth. Typical Saul Alinsky crap. The leftist Communist (formally know as the Democratic Party) need this stuff to divide this country, they don't want people to know that all speech is protect as long as it does not incite violence or harm- Don't think Robertson's comments did any of that. Need Proof about the democratic party. Google 1963 Congressional Record Communist Goals... 47 goals for this nation and they have completed about 95% of them.

    December 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JR

    You called Phil Robertson a 'vile bigot' on Twitter; as a foreigner, you seem to enjoy our 1st amendment right to launch ad-hominem attacks against American citizens as well as our way of life. Well sir, I've had enough of your tediously pretentious carpetbagging that you try pass off as journalism. Please just pack your bags and take your disdainful yob mouth back to the UK

    December 19, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Rick Jones

    Redneck and guy with weird looking beard were offensive remarks too.... used by Ms. Jones tonight. STRONGLY feel his remarks, old school feeling, and thoughts on the matter were WRONG PERIOD! But, cannot sit and watch the hypocrisy peps....just sayin.

    December 20, 2013 at 12:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      So totally agree. I am a native NC Tarheel and was totally offended by Starr Jones. The South is now an unacceptable and negative stereotype within the American culture.

      December 20, 2013 at 7:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Roger

    Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper are absolute idiots. It's ok for anyone to say anything except for a redneck to talk about his beliefs. Which by the way are 100 percent correct

    December 20, 2013 at 3:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Tim

    Starr Jones is NOT the ultimate authority to be allowed to speak on the Duck Dynasty issue without challenge. I am from North Carolina and live in a small town now and I was/am totally offended by her stereotyping of culture and people in North Carolina. Where is the outrage in that??? It is CLEAR that FREE speech is not FREE if the person speaking is coming from the principles of the Judeo-Christian world view.

    December 20, 2013 at 7:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  34. SUE

    How's this....Piers Morgan, go back to wherever you are from! We have enough idiots in this country without you and the crap you try to sell every night. Christians are people too, and we can say what we believe, as loudly as you can say what you believe. How about a movement to kick Piers out of the country? Where do I sign up!

    December 20, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Steve

    No!!!!...don't send Morgan back, we don't want him

    December 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Mary Skrha

    Perhaps you should read the Bible. Just because you're Catholic doesn't mean you are a Christian.

    December 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Terrence Absher

    Sir, you are wrong, the U. S. Ist adm is for every citizen, you do not choose, you are wrong.

    December 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Chip

    Mr. Morgan, no true christian would consider the bible "ridiculous". I doubt your voracity. You are more likely a humanist who doesn't want to lose the christian audience. You misrepresented Phil's statements. You, sir, are the bigot appealing to the atheistic, humanist base.

    December 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  39. walter

    this is who they are

    December 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  40. KhamronDell

    Piers Morgan?!?! Really, who watches this guy anyway? If he has anything intelligent to say about Phil Robertson, that would be the story, not what Phil said. Talk about out-of-touch, no basis for understanding ANYTHING American, and self-absorbed. I'd rather watch 50-year old reruns of I love Lucy!

    December 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  41. jay

    Thanks Piers,
    I believe your commentary on Phil Robertson was instrumental with regard to A&E re-instating Him to his now larger than ever fan base. "a fool keeps his own council", ........You just keep talkin there genius.
    PS. bet you can't guess where that quote comes from

    December 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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