On April 14 the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) had announced the contest as part of its popular annual chili cook-off in May. But when a local citizen e-mailed the utility to complain that the show's patriarch, Phil Robertson, had come out publicly in opposition to homosexual marriage and it was “poor judgment” to have a light-hearted contest surrounding the show, the utility quickly pulled the plug on the contest.
BWL spokesman Steve Serkaian told the Lansing State Journal that after receiving the negative e-mail from Danielle Casavant, “it took about a minute” for the utility officials to cave in and drop the contest. “We didn’t want any controversy from this matter to detract from what has been a longstanding, family-friendly event whose proceeds are donated to charitable causes,” explained Serkaian.
An official statement from the BWL explained that “the decision was made in light of controversial remarks by a Duck Dynasty cast member against the LGBT community. The BWL is committed to diversity and respect community differences, and we regret if the contest offended anyone.”
According to the State Journal, Casavant told the BWL that it had “showed poor judgment” in using the pro-family Duck Dynasty group to promote its annual chili cook-off. “The City of Lansing has come out very publicly promoting equality,” she wrote. “It seemed hypocritical to do something that glamourizes and promotes the show in any way.”
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