‘Duck Dynasty’ family stands by suspended patriarch

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The family behind A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” rallied around its patriarch Thursday, one day after the network suspended Phil Robertson over controversial remarks he made about gays and blacks in a magazine interview.

“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,” the Robertsons said in a statement.

The family called into question the future of the show.

“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,” it said.

In the January issue of GQ, Robertson said homosexuality is a sin and puts it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. 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’s quoted as saying.

When asked what he thought was sinful, Robertson replied: “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.”

But homosexuals aren’t alone, Robertson said. “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.”

A&E said it was troubled by Robertson’s statements.

“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,” the network said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”

In addition to his comments about homosexuality, Robertson also spoke about race and growing up in Louisiana before the civil rights era.

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” he told GQ. “Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!

“Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues,” GQ quoted Robertson as saying.

Outrage and support

The NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign wrote a joint letter to the president of A&E expressing “outrage and deep concern about the recent racist, homophobic, and ill-informed remarks made by Phil Robertson.”

“Mr. Robertson claims that, from what he saw, African Americans were happier under Jim Crow. What he didn’t see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street,” the letter states.

“And his offensive claims about gay people fly in the face of science. In fact, it’s important to note that every single leading medical organization in the country has said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBT — it’s not a choice, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous.”

But by early Thursday night, more than 70,000 people had signed a change.org petition calling for A&E to bring Robertson back.

“Homosexuals have their convictions and Christians respect them,” the organizer of the petition wrote. “There is a difference between respecting someone rights to exercise free will and imposing on others what we believe. Phil has done nothing more than state what he believes in. Just because homosexuals do not agree, does not mean Mr. Robertson needs to be suspended.”

Similarly, the Facebook page “Bring Back Phil Robertson” had more than 190,000 “likes” by Thursday night.

Robertson responded to the brouhaha in a statement late Wednesday.

“I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me,” he said. “We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity.”

“Duck Dynasty” follows a Louisiana bayou family that has “made a fortune on duck calls,” as A&E puts it.

Robertson founded the Duck Commander company, “which sold a line of custom-made duck-hunting calls that quickly became popular among avid hunters for their uncanny accuracy in replicating the sound of a real duck,” the GQ article states. Videos of his family’s duck hunts led to a show on the Outdoor Channel and eventually A&E, the article says.

Season 5 of is set to premiere on January 15. According to A&E, its fourth season premiere in August drew nearly 12 million viewers to become the No. 1 nonfiction series telecast in cable history.

37 comments

  • Anita

    It doesn’t matter what science says is OK…God says homosexuality is wrong and He is the only one that matters..God is the one we will all answer to for our sins..
    Also how did they get that Phil is racist? He was commenting on the blacks being godly and happy people..They were like that when I was growing up too..

    • Galen Casstevens

      God is just a figment of your imagination, science is proven by observation and logic. I love how you blindly follow some book written by man, and deny the evidence that we are given daily. The reason we are in the shape we are in is because of brainless Christian nut-jobs such as yourself.

      • josh

        You’re funny, science is nothing more than theory, assumption and speculation. In the 400 plus years of science, No one really knows anything, especially a nobody like you. For example: scientific theory, the theory of relativity and quantum theory just to name a few; the list goes on. Science is just an organized institution of ignorance. There is one thing that is for certain in life, you and I will die, so who are you to question another’s belief of the after life?

      • chasity

        Nut bag Christians, are u kidding me… Crazy nut bags like u are the reason this country is in the shape its in. I guess ull find out on judgement day.

      • Tammy

        I feel sorry for you Galen. Like Tami said, I would rather believe, and I do, that there is a God than not to and spend eternity in Hell.

      • Dent N Door

        I agree no one chooses to be homosexual. I also agree that Phil can say what he thinks. We all can. As to there being no God, silly kinda thing to say. If you do not believe why do you care if others do. You are trying to fool yourself. A creator does exist, science has never proven otherwise.

    • April Danielle Hatmaker

      Anita, I support n totally agree with you. If we do not conform and believe as so many others are blinded to. well, then We are wrong. I stand up for God/ Bible and every word. one day each and every one of us will face God and account for our sins. Alot of ppl will be shocked and then it will be too late.

  • karen

    He told the truth. Its in the bible and Jesus died for us and if wue don’t stand up for the bible then where will this world be. Jesus id our ruler our father our president. he makeseverything. and. its up to us to let the world know and to remember what the bible days and its in corinthians romand and thru the entire bible and people don’t need to come diwn on duck dynasty for being christians and speaking the truth. WHAT HAPPEN TO FREEDOM OF SPEACH.

  • thegreatspirit13

    I suggest what people do is buy some duck dynasty t shirts before they get yanked off the shelf and where the logo for a&e is, just scribble that out and write on it nothing to see here. I went today and bought a shirt with a picture of Phil on it that says everybody is Happy Happy Happy, just to mock the entire incident. I support Phil Robertson 1 million percent and everything he says and stands for. This country was founded on the principles of the bible and the 10 commandments, look at the back of the dollar or any form of currency where it says in God we trust, and those are the entire reason why this country will lose its independance, no one wants god, the atheists get their way means this country has no meaning, we lose more civil rights each and every day, and the reason all points back to atheists and their non beliefs. I have a huge problem with atheists, they are bringing down everything that used to be represented as good in this country. It will not be long the more they are tolerated the more rights will be taken away. Evil will never win, but there will be a lot of tragedy and loss along the road to this country losing its religion. A sad state of affairs, I hope another network picks up duck dynasty. This whole thing is proof that A&E support atheism, they did this to try and break the family apart, and it didn’t work, good for the Robertsons to see through this evil visage.

  • Kim Bush

    I won’t watch anything on A&E till Phil is brought back. This whole country is going Hell in a hand basket because they are losing sight of what our country was founded on. Sorry but those that weren’t born here need to adiust to our way of life not US change everything to suit them. And that’s all this country is doing is bowing down to them instead of letting us keep our free speech, and way of life with the values we were raised with.
    I am all for the rights of the LGBT or whatever it is but don’t stomp on others civil rights just because you don’t like them stating their own opinion, that has been in the Bible long before you were born.

  • Walter Wade Elliott

    A&E is a shameful organization that is persecuting Christians for publicly expressing their faith. They have violated Phil Robertson’s 1st Amendment rights and wrongfully and unlawfully fired him from his own show in order to bow down to and support the hate filled demands of the LGBT, a homosexual community that comprises less than 3% of the American population and whose values are not supported by the majority of America. I will no longer support A&E by viewing their programming or purchasing their products. This boycott also includes their affiliates at LifeTime, Bio and the History Channels.

  • Walter Wade Elliott

    Attention all people that believe in the Lord as Savior and that His is the ultimate authority over all creation. Join me in the boycott of A&E, Bio, LifeTime and all the History channels. A&E persecutes Christians, associated with A&E and it’s affiliate networks, if they express their faith publicly, truthfully and honestly. Evidently, A&E and their affiliate networks would rather abandon mainstream Christians and people of faith and join with the LGBT, a homosexual community that comprises less than 3% of Americans, in their relentless persecution of all people of faith that refuse to renounce the Lord’s guidance found in the Bible and who live their lives and speak in God’s name about their faith. Since A&E has decided to jump on the LGBT hate group’s bandwagon and persecute Christians for living and speaking publicly about their faith; it is time for all people of faith to join together and reject A&E. Do not watch any A&E programming, do not purchase any A&E products and avoid purchasing products from any businesses that advertise on A&E. Remember that the History channels, Lifetime and Bio networks are affiliates of A&E and they are to be boycotted as well. The LGBT cannot and will not force me to accept their perverse, immoral and sinful lifestyle as being anything other than the sinful abomination that God says homosexuality is. If A&E is ashamed of, offended by and hates Christians so much that they would fire a man from his own show for expressing his faith; then A&E does not need the money or support of Christian people.

  • Lee

    I’m so disappointed with Fox News for slandering Phil Robertson as your organization has in reporting the lie that he made controversial remarks about blacks. He didn’t speak about “Jim Crow,” he spoke about his own perceptions growing up and working with people of color. He said nothing disrespectful to or about anyone.

  • Janie Kane

    They all stupid as shit. Robertsons has made enough money already.. It’s time to give someone else a chance to make a few ducks.. Ha! Ha! stupid I meant BUCKS……………

    • Steve quinn

      Freedom of speech is not lost, understanding that our speech has consequences is what is lost. He willing signed the contract with a and e and in that contract he willing agreed to their standards and practices. He violated that contract so he has to deal with the consquences

      • Faiththemoron

        Phil’s Freedom of speech rights were trampled on there Stevie baby. Just go back to sleep and do us all a favor and pipe down before you get smacked around.

  • steve quinn

    First off, A and E did not violate Phil’s right to free speech. They in no way prohibited him from saying or making the comments he did. What they did was exercise their right as him employer. As an employee of A and E he at some point he willing signed a contract. Maybe he didn’t pay attention and read all the big words but in that contract it probably stated that as an employee of A and E he was to uphold certain standards. Those standards probably listed certain topics or issues that A and E did not want their employees commenting on. A and E as his employer determined that he violated that agreement and therefore did what any employer would do if the employee violated that contract, they suspended him. Seems to me if he was so hell bent on his beliefs he may have determined that a paycheck was less valuable then his beliefs. But he cashed the checks and became a celebrity so he has to deal with the consequences. Those who thump their chests and beat their bibles saying this is a religious issue are so blinded by faith that they fail to see the common sense to the whole issue

    • Faiththemoron

      Steve you apparently stand with the far left in everything that you do. Your comments make total non sense and you probably never graduated high school.

  • darrell

    just remember this is if I am wrong about Christianity when I die it will all be over and maybe they will say he was a good man but if the non believers are wrong they will suffer in hell for eternity

  • Chucky1992

    Does anyone know how to get to the point? Some of your comments are so long, no one is going to read them. LOL

  • Joe

    Yeah. Shame on you fox 8. Trying to make race an issue when it isn’t. Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not watching Fox 8 anymore for this. You’re either mighty brave or mighty stupid to try to “create” race issues here.

    Fox 8, you’re just falling into the same category as the rest of this country, as far as media goes. I will not watch you.

  • Debra

    I see nothing wrong with what Phil said. We are not all alike and we all have different opinions. As a Christian I will take a stand with Phil because he is just stating what the bible says. And for the one’s of you that don’t believe the bible, one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord,

  • Truthful

    The NAACP just wants to complain and has a sense of entitlement. The homosexuals know it’s wrong and will burn in hell.

  • Tim

    who really cares….reality tv is all fake anyways, so get over it people. Its a show with rednecks that is based on joking around and family. Who cares what he said. I didnt see everyone rally like this around others who had a slip of lip, Goes to show you Americans who are rallying around this dude have nothing better to do than sit around a tv and watch reality tv all day and night. Do something better….you complained about Jersey Shore, so complain about Duck Dynasty….all a joke and this nonsense proves it.

    • Who Cares

      Yaaa Tim! “Who really cares”. My TV went to the curb 4 years ago because there is nothing on it worth watching. Whether a program is there or not, really doesn’t matter. What pays the rent, that’s reality and that’s important. Not DD.

  • TT

    Maybe these guys are too good for A&E now. Didn’t everyone complain because they pray and on TV? Everyone has opinions on everything we just don’t hear them. If you are offended by others comments you obviously have issues with your life and you are the one who is sitting and thinking about what others say instead of what you are doing in your own life. People need to get a grip on reality and stop putting too much into what other people say and think. I enjoy watching the show because these guys have been totally honest about their past and what they have come from. There will always be someone there to put people down and say bad things. If you believe in your lifestyle and are happy what does it matter what other people think or say?

  • tara

    This is America at its best these days….Distorting peoples words to cause drama! Its really pathetic and getting very old! I am a black person and I didnt take what he said to be offensive at all. I’ve heard comedians say worse about any race and “the gays” and no one complains about that. I wont give up praying for you America you REALLY need it these days.

  • Tami

    Where in his statement does he slam backs ? He said ” I didn’t see any mistreatment of blacks we are all farmers and I worked in the cotton field with them they were happy and singing and they were Godly people” I don’t see where he slammed Blacks I see that he showed respect to them and as he said God created us all. This whole thing is getting blown out of preposition. and to the readers who claim that there is no God I think you need to pick up the Bible and read better yet look around at the things God has created I rather believe that there is a God and I do, then not and find out I was wrong. It’s time to wake up people!

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