A&E has indefinitely suspended Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson from the network for speaking against homosexuality in a recent interview with a popular men’s magazine.
The January 2014 issue of GQ features an interview with the famed duck call inventor and reality show star, covering a variety of topics from his personal testimony to health care, to his views on hunting and Creation. However, Robertson’s comments about homosexuality have generated the most controversy—and have now ended up putting him out of a job.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” Robertson, the 67-year-old elder at Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, Louisiana and co-entrepreneur of Duck Commander Wines, tells reporter Drew Magary. “Sin becomes fine.”
“What, in your mind, is sinful?” Magary, who laces the article with profanity, asks.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” Robertson replies. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
He then quotes from 1 Corinthians 6:9.
“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,” Robertson states. “Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Robertson also makes explicit comments earlier in the article about why he believes men should find women’s reproductive organs “more desirable,” and adds, “[S]in; it’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
However, when homosexual activists learned of the popular duck hunter’s comments, they immediately released statements condemning Robertson’s remarks.
“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,” the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) asserted. “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.”
A&E then released a statement from Robertson, explaining his comments in the publication.
“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior,” he wrote. “My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.”
“However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me,” Robertson continued. “We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
But hours later, A&E also released a statement, advising that it had indefinitely suspended Robertson from the broadcast.
“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 stated. “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.”
Robertson’s suspension has now generated both applause and outrage, with over 30,000 supporters joining a Stand With Phil Robertson Facebook page within hours of the announcement.