CNN’s Don Lemon Tells Piers Duck Dynasty Star Shouldn’t Be Fired: ‘The Marketplace Should Decide’

Piers Morgan opened his show Wednesday night with the breaking news of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson‘s suspension over homophobic remarks he made, but openly gay anchor Don Lemon said he should not be fired; that Robertson’s comments were borne from a “lack of awareness” and in a society that values free speech, no one should be outright punished merely for voicing an opinion.

GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz denounced Robertson’s remarks and said it’s offensive for him to profess to speak on behalf of all Christians. Morgan found the homosexuality comments, as well as comments that black people were “happy” in pre-civil rights Louisiana, to be “pretty outrageous on any level.”

Lemon agreed, but was less hesitant than Morgan to call for Robertson’s head, saying free speech exists for a reason. He said, “It’s offensive to me… but the marketplace should decide.” Lemon argued that it’s always best to “err on the side of free speech” and said he shouldn’t be fired. Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell made a similar point, that no matter how disgusting Robertson’s comments may come across, suspending him was a bad move because it’s not like his socially conservative views were that big a surprise to anyone.

Morgan disagreed, saying Robertson should be fired for his “absolutely repulsive” comments.

Watch the video below, via CNN:

[photo via screengrab]

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