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The Same Audience that Hated the Dixie Chicks Loves Duck Dynasty....

Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson.  Why not use this market-based controversy to teach your employees about freedom of speech and the resulting accountability?

Which is to say that freedom of speech is constitutionally protected.  But that doesn't mean that people can't turn their backs on you.  

My take to employees would be that yes, for the most part, you can say what you want.  But, if saying what you want causes others around you to be unable to work with you, you might have to go find another job.  That's just the way it is.  Freedom of speech is important, but it doesn't mean you can say whatever you want.  There are consequences.  If you're going to be hard-core about any controversial issue in the workplace, you have to be prepared for the backlash.

Sometimes hard takes on issues are perceived as anti-someone.  You can say it.  But you might not be able to work here if that stance causes you to be unable to do your job.  

Consider the cases of the Dixie Chicks vs Duck Dynasty and what happened after both spoke their minds.  

Back in 2003, the Dixie Chicks (popular country music group) spoke their minds and lashed out against President Bush and his plans to go to war in a post-9/11 world.  A few weeks back, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson spoke his mind on a host of issues (including homosexuality).  The Dixie Chicks got pulled from the airwaves across America and were shocked.  Robertson's reality show (Duck Dynasty) was in limbo on their host TV network, A&E.

As it turns out, the audience for the Dixie Chicks and Duck Dynasty is pretty much the same.  That's why the Dixie Chicks stayed off the air (regardless of calls for freedom of speech) and had their careers severely impacted, but A&E had to reverse course in a much more sensitive world and say there would be no impact to Duck Dynasty based on Robertson's comments.

The audience for the country music and Duck Dynasty has tremendous overlap.  That audience wanted to the Dixie Chicks gone.  They wanted Duck Dynasty on the air, with the opinionated Phil Robertson, without any changes.

Rome was the mob.

Say what you want.  We'll defend your right to to that.  But the marketplace decides whether you have to work someplace else.  We'll either cut you up for scrap or make you a hero.  

Pontificate accordingly.

Comments

MattL

When you listen to fools,
The Mob Rules

--Black Sabbath (The Dio Years)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cATPLk559XY

Duncan Connor

You're misinterpreting the first amendment if you don't understand that it protects your freedom of speech from being interfered with by the government. And ONLY the government. There was no freedom of speech issue in either case because the government took no action, nor threatened any action, against the Dixie Chicks or Robertson.
It was simply a case of an employee saying something dumb and the employers taking an action consistent with the conditions of that employees' engagement.

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