By Tim Swift, The Baltimore Sun
12:11 PM EST, December 27, 2013
Some "Duck Dynasty" fans have taken to Facebook to create "Chick-Phil-A Day" to support the controversial star Phil Robertson. The page already has more 20,000 likes and has been featured on the conservative website The Blaze. According to the Facebook page, Chick-Phil-A Day is set for January 21 where fans are encouraged to eat at Chick-Fil-A restaurants in "camo or Duck Commander gear."
Interviewed in GQ magazine this month, Robertson called homosexuality a sin and said African Americans were "happy" in the pre-civil-rights era south.
A&E -- the cable network that airs "Duck Dynasty" -- suspended Robertson indefinitely from the show after the GQ interview, leading to online campaigns to reinstate him and conservative politicians condemning the network's action. The Facebook campaign is the latest in the backlash. The site's tagline is: "Stand for free speech. Sit for good food."
The move is reminiscent of Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day -- championed by talk show host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- in August of 2012 after CEO Dan Cathy came under fire for comments he made about gay marriage. Gay rights activitists also pointed out a charity run by Chick-Fil-A had made donations to so-called "gay conversion" groups.
Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day brought out millions of people to eat at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country. One analyst estimated that the company could have seen a 50 percent increase in sales that day.
But this time around Chick-Fil-A isn't part of the event. "This event has been created by an independent group and is not sponsored by or affiliated with Chick-fil-A, " said Jerry Johnston, a spokesman for Chick-fil-A, Inc.
"Duck Dynasty," about a Louisiana family who run a duck calling business, is a huge hit, drawing more than 11 million viewers for the A&E network. "Duck Dynasty" also sells a huge amount of merchandise -- from T-shirts to board games.
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