‘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.

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


  • Jax

    Unbelievable. Suspend a Christian man for giving his opinion on something they all knew what the answer was going to be. Yet, let’s leave shows like the Kardashians whom have yet no values at all. Phils opinion affects nobodys lives in any shape or form.go on about your day add you did before you knew his opinion, and you will see it will go on the same way.Noeverybody is a sheep who has to believe in homosexuality. Get s life A&E ortool showing reruns of honey boo boo next.

  • Ashley

    I think this is ridiculous, last time I checked we had freedom of speech! He is a good old country boy and a Christian, this is how they believe…

  • Anita Walth

    At a time when we are taking a cross down in Cal. and Christians are being persecuted all over the world. People wake up he spoke some true facts and then said hey I am not judging that is God’s job. We need to stand up for what we believe. I love the show but it is in truth a show but the fact is it isn’t one of those shows where everybody is taking off their clothes, twerking or what ever they do. Clean show for anybody,and as for the hunting at least they eat what they kill. As for the money I am pretty sure they got enough of that so please. Pray Believe and support Phil. God wants us to help find the lost sheep not be passive little oh I got God and I don’t care if the rest of the world does or not. Go gettem Phil.

  • McDonnell Dino

    You go Phil, I am glad to see someone stand up to this deviant sexual behavior. I am not just going to identify the LGBT but also all of you who partake in watching pornography, going to strip bars and all those other deviant activity. We as a society do not have to accept these peoples immoral deviant activity period.

  • Michelle Ehrlich

    He is entitled to his opinion if you really don’t want to hear the answer then don’t ask. at least he is not a two faced he calls it like he sees it in is eyes. The family prays together and sits for meals together as a family it reminds me of when I was a little girl and had meals with my family. this family is not hurting me they are entertaining me. You go Phil I don’t think he said anything wrong.

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    This show, this guy, and most of these comments reveals the deep rooted truth in the W.C. Field saying “There’s a sucker born every minute!”

  • Amy

    God. Ducks. Beards. That’s always been their passion and beliefs. It should be ok for someone to be able to express opinion without ridicule. Phil Robertson simply stated his beliefs and wasn’t even mean about it and that’s wrong? But it’s ok for someone to lash out at him just because they quote represent a group of people? That’s double standards if I’ve ever heard it. As United States citizens we have the right to freedom of speech. By A&E suspending Phil they have violated his rights. Why aren’t any agencies that quote support the rights of the people rage on about that?? I support Phil Robertson. People have been trying to get Duck Dynasty off the show since they found out they were Christians. I think they are just using this as an excuse to get it done.

  • TK

    Amazing how those who preach “tolerance” are usually the least tolerant of all! When is the NAACP and human rights organization going to demand an apology from MSNBC and Capitol One for Alec Baldwin’s comments?? Talk about a double standard!

  • Sara Adkison


  • Joe

    I am so tired of everybody’s desire to trample all over everyone else’s god given rites and freedoms just so they can tip toe around and not offend anyone and there “political correctness”. If his beliefs offend some people then those people need to “grow a set”. He was asked his opinion, and he didn’t hide anything and said “his opinion” straight up. Some people need to grow up. This political correctness makes me embarrassed for the world my hchildren are being forced to live in. Having said that, if A&E ban Phil Robertson for stating his beliefs then A&E will be banned from my house.

  • Jesus

    The point is that he insulted the community by saying it leads to beastiality. That would be the same as blindly calling all you christians child molesters.

  • Debra Pringle

    When asked his opinion, he gave it. Was he supposed to lie? To go one record doing what is not true to him? I love Phil, he’s one of my favorite people on the show. I’ve loved it from the beginning but will take a stand and not watch until he’s back. The only way for the ratings to go down and for the networks to realize how valuable he is is for the ratings to suffer. Preach on Phil, Preach on my brutha!!!

  • G

    Is everyone on this board a high school drop out or what? Learn what the 1st amendment actually is before you use it a shield for this bigot. People are entitled to their opinions yes but you cannot just post it in a public magazine and expect your employer to sit there and do nothing. AE has a duty to fire this guy because he is defamating the brand name, the show, etc. Privately owned businesses have the right to fire employees for breaking contacts so almost all of these arguments are completely without merit.

  • Lori Rogers

    People are saying “its in the bible!!” So is eating shellfish being a sin & they eat crawfish. Oh so is talking back to a parent(punishable by death). Or not listening to your husband (a woman should be stoned for that). I find it funny that people only follow some of the hundreds of rules in there. I personally follow the rule Jesus set up “love one another!” As for free speech or A&E giving up Duck Dynasty, they are allowed to suspend him as freely as any other company can suspend any employee. They also cant go anywhere else, its called a contract & A&E isnt going to give that up easy.

    • Gay is not normal

      So the liberal left have their panties in a bunch because Phil Robertson speaks his mind on the twisted human behavior the mass media continues to feed us as normal.
      It’s never an issue to them when God is mocked or dismissed and yet, they wonder why society is so violent and lacks common courtesy and morals.
      What next? You so called Americans hide from the truths and allow this assault on American values.
      So when the atheists attorney says his client wants to marry his sheep or 9 year old neighbor, will you still look away

  • Tim Cav

    First, it is not a freedom of speech issue. He is at work when he is on television, and getting paid. And employers always control freedom of speech to some extent, while your working. Second, He did not slam gays, he said he believes it to be a sin. Would it be offensive to say adultery is a sin? Or, is that just an opinion, and is that “slamming” adulterers? And finally, if you disagree with him, why not just say “He’s wrong, we disagree”, and move on! You will never get everyone to agree with you and punishing him will never change his mind, except about the definition of who is tolerant and who is not.

  • Mikeschirmer

    Hey A&E. Nothing like taking the reality out of a reality show. Thats what our fabricated political correctness does. What about freedom of speech? Pretty much gone in this country.

  • Andrew Juengel Jr.

    The same thing happened to the Dixie Chicks! When the right wingers got their panties in a bunch ! Freedom of speech is free to all but you will always have those that disagree! But that’s freedom of speech!

  • Michael

    Hey G! Here’s my First amendment right: Go F yourself!! I don’t like your opinion so shut up! I’m firing you from this Blog! How’s it feel? Ok for you to have an opinion but no one else?

  • Mandy

    I find it amusing that a book like the Bible that has been around for centuries is still something people reference for every thing they disapprove of in this world. That book has been edited a zillion times to benefit the church…if you think its completely Gods truth your out of your mind…men wrote it…and men have edited it for centuries. Because the best way to control people is through fear.

    All this hell talk is ridiculous…hell, as if God made us, knowing us inside and out..completely loving us….knowing the paths we would take in life, just to throw us into a place called hell. Right. Do you think theres a guy down there in a red leotard and tights too??

    Gods truth is only love, the Almighty is incapable of hate, something humans cant seem to understand or accept themselves.

  • Lauren N.

    Its ridiculous that A&E suspended Phil Robertson for his beliefs. Whether it’s in the contract or not, Robertson never said that his beliefs were never the beliefs of A&E. Being suspended by A&E is a violation of his first amendment rights, not only is it slander, but it is wrongful termination as well. I’ve been a follower of Duck Dynasty from the beginning; does it really come as a surprise to any of us that these are his views? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I just hope A&E is ready for the backlash.

  • Bree

    The NAACP needs to actually read the article, and a group of sinners were mentioned in that article. YES homosexuality is a sin, greed is a sin, fornication is a sin, and yes we all sin. Phil stated he did not judge anyone and would leave that to God. Please read the dang article.

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