‘Duck Dynasty’ star suspended for anti-gay remarks

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(CNN) — Is this man simply expressing his beliefs or spewing bigotry?

Either way, Phil Robertson, the patriarch in A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” won’t beduck calling on air anytime soon. The network suspended him after he made controversial remarks about gays and blacks in a magazine interview.

Robertson told the interviewer that he never saw “the mistreatment of any black person” during his 67 years living in the south.

In the January issue of GQ, Robertson says 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 morning, more than 19,000 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 hebelieves 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 35,000 “likes” by early Thursday morning.

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.

By Holly Yan and Dana Ford, CNN

CNN’s Tom Foreman contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

81 comments

    • cassandra t

      I agree. I love this show. That is that mans personal opinion! who cares for real…. its a reality show. I will be very upset with a&e if this show is altered b/c of this….. people need to get over it. ughhhhh..

  • Kathy

    Last I heard its still a free country,…its a shame that anytime someone says something the media jumps on the drama train. GOD Bless Duck Dynasty, they are Christian people, who dont drop the F bomb, they pray…my goddness Lord help us all!!!!!

  • Justin

    Why do we always have to appease everyone all the time. If you are offend by his statement then don’t watch the show. I, however, believe he has every right to express his opinion and I will follow this show to which ever network picks it up.

  • Jdah

    What did GQ think they were going to get when they are asking a huge Christian advocate about their view on homosexuality?! This is ridiculous.

    • Kathy L Furlow-Hearod

      NO duh that’s his view! Wow! I am so not shocked that he believes homosexuality is a sin! He is a bible believer people. So let me get this straight, no pun intended, A&E has a problem with their cast members stating the obvious. I’m just thinking that’s way hypocritical. I would not want him to be guilty of Matthew 10:33

    • Milady

      He was intentionally baited with that question, knowing what his answer was going to be. Shame on that interviewer for deliberately getting him suspended.

      • crystal

        I totally agree with you milady I to think he was sent up with that question.He’s the main reason i watch the show

  • crabby4

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion!!! We live in the United States of America. A&E is making a huge mistake!!!

  • Amanda Melton

    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.. Shame on A&E for trying to take that away from Phil huge disappointment cause he was one of my favorites on that show..

  • Keep your rainbow

    Why is it that the LGBT, group needs acceptance of a Christian family or their beliefs. Most Christians believe that homosexual behavior is some sort of abomination to God. So as an American and a Christian man, Phil Robertson can say anything he likes. And now A&E will find out how it feels to be dropped, having just stepped on their own D**K

  • Debra Boyer

    Why does anyone take offense. .Big enough to do it be big enough to take it. .I’ve dealt with blonde jokes all my life. .so..A & E ought to look at their jingle bell Chippendale boxer commercial. .just saying

  • Adrienne

    I think this is totally ridiculous! He stated that it was his opinion and he shouldn’t be punished for that.The problem with television nowadays is that they are always quick to respond to something like this,while all of the other garbage on tv is still running.

  • Sabine

    how is the man not entitled to his own personal opinion! Which he pointed out it was. He was not speaking for the network. Shame on you for not allowing free speech.
    this country and this ludricous tip-toeing around so no one gets offended has gone too far.

  • KevD

    Not about free speech. A&E is a private company, not the U.S. government. This has absolutely nothing to do with the first amendment! It’s frightening how little some Americans know about the Constitution. By the way, I agree with the other poster: Ratings! Ratings! Ratings! That’s ALL this is about.

  • gieno

    I applaud Phil and he has a right to say what he believes!! The show’s ratings will only get better and the people will have spoken.

  • Sue Barks Elders

    I have watched the show since it aired, and if A & E wants to suspend him, then so be it. but i will watch whichever net work picks it up.cause you know with that high of ratings they all will be standing in line.

  • Kieler

    Jesus, he just stated his opinion. He even said “to me” and “that’s just me.” I guess no one is entitled to their own opinion anymore.

  • KevD

    Just wait until tomorrow when news organizations all over the country are giving A&E and “Duck Dynasty” priceless (free) publicity. None of the current DD viewers will stop watching because they all hate gays, too. Plenty of people will start watching out of curiosity. Then hey! whaddaya know! Phil’s back on the show! Well played A&E… you’ve obviously fooled QUITE a few people.

  • jeffrey moran

    IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS/RATINGS!!! IF VIEWERS THINK THE NETWORK STABBED HIM IN THE BACK AND “STAY AWAY” FROM THE SHOW . . . SOME HOW THEY’LL FIND A WAY TO LET HIM BACK ON THE SHOW. IT THE RATINGS ARE GOOD, SAY BYE-BYE TO UNCLE PHIL OR WHAT EVER HIS NAME IS, I NEVER SAW THE SHOW,

  • stara

    why is it a person gets in trouble for speaking out against homosexuality but had he said he thought homosexuality was a fine thing to do then nothing would be said he would be praised for his beliefs. I just dont get why it is ok for supporters of homosexuality to say it is ok to be homo but if i disagree then i get introuble for offending them? Both sides should have the right to speak their beliefs and opinions. We are truly the unites states of the offended. If you believe in God..Thats your choice>>> if you dont again your choice. Like guns your choice..dont your choice. Both sides should have equal rights in voicing their concerns or opinions.

  • Tina

    A & E will probably lose a lot of viewers. I love watching this show and love the fact that they show their beliefs on the show regarding their Christian views. Most Christians will agree with Phil as I do. Way to go Phil.

  • HelnD

    They must also support Obama! Taking away his right to freedom of speech! It’s his belief. I don’t agree but find me a Christian whom don’t agree! Their loss. I as everyone I know are Hugh Duck Dynasty Fans!! Don’t like it don’t watch it! Don’t like what was written dont read it!! Are we still in America???

  • Buddha Rick

    Hate is wrong any way you look at it. yes you can say what you like in the USA. If you work for anyone but your self. do not voice any thing like god said gays are bad? did he? did you hear it from GOD him self? if you do not like Blacks, Asians, or Whites. do not say it.. again unless you work for just your self and you do not need a sponsor. it looks like he will be off the show for a little but Duck Dynasty will still be on the air

    • Robert Endsley

      It is amazing that your hatred for God and anyone who does not share your beliefs is ok. Mr. Robertson did not show hatred, he just spoke the way he believes and what the Bible states. Hatred comes mostly from the left and media and people like you who thinl they KNOW THE CONSTITUTION eat it up. You are probably one of thosr people who think the constitution separates church and state. The Constitution does not take church out of the state but the state out of the church

  • sandy

    He is entitled to his opinion. I do not watch this show, too goofy for me. I hope they do not over react like Food Network did with Paula Deen.

  • Amy Jordan

    Really, A&E? You didn’t think that when you pay Christians to film their lives, you MIGHT be exposed to Christian beliefs?

    The thing is, this has been carefully orchestrated.
    This is not about being offended, because what Phil Robertson called sinful is what the bible calls sinful. This is about persecution of people who don’t pander to extremists like the ones at A&E.

  • laurie schmidt

    Would christens split up husband and wife that make this show that is not right, they will lose my whole family a big one at that if they do this

  • Lynnette Meadows

    Freedom of speech is alive and well BUT you have to be ready for the consequences! That’s where some of you are losing your brains. This guy is ignorant, the show is ignorant. I’m amazed it has so many fans.

Comments are closed.

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