The Robertson family has issued an official statement in response to A&E’s decision Wednesday to suspend Phil Robertson indefinitely, which followed the patriarch’s controversial interview with GQ.
As many fans of “Duck Dynasty” suspected, the statement indicates the family “cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.” The statement says they are in discussions with A&E “to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty”:
Here is the statement, issued tonight at http://duckcommander.com:
We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.
In case you have been in a cave without cable TV or Internet access (lucky you), the Robertson patriarch gave an interview with GQ’s Drew Magary in which he paraphrased Corinthians, called homosexuality sinful and frankly used the words vagina and anus to say he found gay sex “not logical.”
“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,” he says in the GQ interview. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
The self-proclaimed “Bible thumper” goes on to say, “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
The comments created a furor online and prompted GLAAD to issue a statement condemning Robertson for pushing “vile and extreme stereotypes.” A&E announced Wednesday night it was suspending Phil Robertson indefinitely. While the cast member was not officially fired, Variety.com reported, he would not be filming with the show moving forward.
“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. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community,” read the A&E statement.
The decision led to another furor, with Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal voicing their support of Robertson. A Facebook page called Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck Dynasty gained more than 1 million likes in less than 24 hours.
When “Duck Dynasty” returns for its new season on Jan. 15, “Duck Commander” Phil Robertson will be a part of it, an A&E network spokesman told the “Today” show earlier today. Most of the 10-episode season was filmed before the network suspended the Robertson family patriarch.
But from the sounds of the Robertson family statement, that could be the end of “Duck Dynasty,” at least on A&E.