GQ released an article in which Duck Dynasty commander Phil Robertson described his family as “Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television.”
According to Deadline, Robertson spoke about things like calling homosexuality a sin. “It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” Robertson said. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
He was later asked in the interview, what he thought was sinful he said; “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
In response to the comments made by Robertson, A&E decided to put him on indefinite hiatus from his hit reality series. This comes as the new season of Duck Dynasty premieres on January 15.
“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,“ A&E said in a statement. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
The news of Robertson’s suspension grew support from the LGBT civil rights groups.
Gay-rights group GLAAD spoke out, “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” said Wilson Cruz, GLAAD spokesperson. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
They also spoke praises to A&E for their swift action on the matter, “What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” GLAAD said in a statement. “By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”
The largest LGBT civil rights group, The Human Rights Campaign, speaks out and demands an apology from Phil Robertson and for A+E Networks denouncing the comments.
“These remarks go beyond being outlandishly inaccurate and offensive,” the group said in a statement. “They are dangerous and revisionist, appealing to those in our society who wish to repeat patterns of discrimination. We urge A+E to immediately denounce and repudiate Robertson’s comments. Furthermore, we call on you to see that Phil Robertson apologizes for his vitriolic comments. Surely a brand like A&E does not want to be associated with such racist and homophobic remarks.”
The backlash that Duck Dynasty has seen is damaging to the series. However, fans of the show have spoken out in support of Robertson and a petition IStandWithPhil.com, with more than 101,000 signatures, was started. Among those supporting Robertson are Sarah Palin, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and the devout fans of the show.
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV,” Jindal said reported by Fox News website. “In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But, I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”z
The Robertson family released a statement on its DuckCommander.com website stating that they would stand behind their patriarch and are willing to pull the plug on the reality TV show. It was made clear that the show would only go on if Phil is a part of it because “we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.”
Duck Dynasty is currently in discussions with A&E about the future of the hit reality series.