‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Suspended After Anti-Gay Remarks

phil robertson 2

(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 be duck calling on air anytime soon. The network suspended him after slamming gays in a magazine interview.

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 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 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 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,” Robertson 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 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.

CNN’s Tom Foreman contributed to this report.

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

53 comments

  • Deborah Wood

    The only thing i will say in this matter. He was asked a question and he answered it on the way he felt. So now are they telling us that we don’t have a right to speak against something just because someone else chooses to live their life that way. We are suppose to be in the LAND OF THE FREE AND THE BRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I say good for him least he had the guts to say it on how it is. My hat is off to you Phil and if they don’t let you come back on the show God has something better for you because just as the word say when one door closes another one opens.

  • Manda Cravey

    In seems in pursuit of including the minorities, the question of tolerance is at hand. All other groups are given free reign to speek up about their beliefs, some even praised for them, but as Christians that line of tolerance is drawn. My freedom of religion and of speech as a Christian is near non-existent because it does not coincide with political agenda. So I urge you, do not be afraid to speak on the Lord’s behalf. I am tolerant to all other beliefs, but I have a right to be heard. Therefore, i am led to say that all fall short in the eyes of God; we all are sinners. His divine mercy is what will get you to heaven, a reward greater than anything this world may offer.

  • Elana

    Duck Dynasty is the only show my whole family can sit down and watch together.We love it because of Phil’s strong Christain beliefs! My kids thinks it is great that they pray at the end of each show.I will not watch A&E if they cancel this show!!

  • Bill

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

  • b ann

    A & E is completely wrong in suspending Phil! They need to cancel that suspension NOW! He was stating his opinion. We are all allowed that. Also I believe that the interviewer was baiting him. He knew exactly what Phil’s beliefs were. Duck Dynasty has too many followers. A & E needs to rethink what they are doing. This does not need to be another fiasco like Paula Deen and Food Network.

  • Jenny Marshall

    Why do famous people get slammed for answering questions asked by the media ?? Just like Paula Dean.. She answered a question asked.. Phil answered the question asked ..if the media and people don’t like the answer to a question then don’t ask the questions! Phil’s answer to gays is based on what the Word says.. Phil’s opinion to gays is not his opinion it’s what Gods word says.. Again as it is written .. We can not deceive ourselves ..

  • Greg

    Tired of being bullied by intolerant Christaphobic hate speak from GLAAD and other LGBT organizations? This is cause for all Christians to boycott all A&E shows except Duck Dynasty until Phil is reinstated. Email A&E to let them know what you think feedbackaetv@aenetworks.com

    • Jennifer

      Christiaphobic? Really? It’s almost like GLAAD is preventing you from marrying your love or filing joint taxes or adopting children or firing you for being the way you were born or beating you bloody in a alley because you swing one way instead of the other. Before you start playing the poor martr being “bullied” by the lgbtq, stop and think what “Christians” are doing to the lgbtq.

  • JR Gibbs

    This is going to backfire on A&E big time. I am neither religious nor a heathen. I am spiritual. We come from the earth and will return to the earth, so tread lightly on your ancestors. Love the earth for she is you and she is your family. This man has every right to his views and he has every right to voice those views. Our country is under attack from an extreme liberal point of view and being infiltrated by millions form around the globe. They have made their battle grounds in the media and control that venue. It is called propaganda.

  • Spleen

    Phil Robertson has the right to express his opinions on anything he wants, and A&E has the right to not run his show or allow him on their network.

    A&E is not a government institution, they are not required to respect the rights of any individual.

    If one of the people on one of their shows expresses an opinion that will hurt their business they have the right to remove that person from their programming. They also have a duty to their shareholders to do so.

    A lot of people here are openly agreeing with his stance on LGBT issues, but none of you have expressed your opinion on his quote on blacks being happier under Jim Crow. Scared your true colors may show through?

    Bigotry is bigotry, whether you’re bigotry is against the LGBT community or against a group of people based on their skin color. There’s little tolerance for bigotry in this day and age. Please, join us in the 21st century.

    • Anonymous

      Phil did not mention Jim Crow laws in his interview. That was an inference made by the NAACP as stated in their letter.

    • Dana House

      Thank goodness there are some folks with reason and decency here… Why are people defending Phil after he talks about women being more appealing because of their holes, and talks rubbish about LGBT, nonsense about blacks and then make him the martyr when he is suspended. Free speech does not mean free from consequences and he was under contract with a&e. Heck even Pope Francis has more love and compassion towards LGBT and tolerance.

  • JR Gibbs

    Actually Spleen you’re the perfect example of the problem. I’ve reread every one of the postings here. Not one person has suggested A&E must allow him a soapbox to voice his views on “their” show against homosexuals. There is a suggestion of a boycott against A&E, which is their right to do. However, do you really think it is right that a person be removed from work because of their views. Is it okay if your boss fires you because they do not like your views for homosexuality? Of course not. But, you want it both ways. You want your rights, but want to tread on the rights of others. You attack anyone that has an opinion that does not agree with your views or life style. You immediately resort to name calling. Then you try to turn the conversation into a race thing? If someone is against homosexuality, they are a racist as well? Really? This is the USA. People have every right to discuss their views in forums like this. You should learn some manners. If you think name calling or being the loudest makes you a winner, you have a lot to learn. How about agreeing that all have their freedom to speak in America. Me, you, and the others posting. I’ve not said what my views are about homosexuality. You are assuming since I’m taking a stand on freedom of speech that you know. I support your rights to be civil and discuss your views, without name calling or slanderously painting those that you don’t agree with as racist. That is just weird? But, I for one appreciate your example. I will close by saying, is anyone shocked this is Mr. Robertson’s view? Of course not. But, you want to persecute him for answering a question honestly.

  • Renee Williams

    Phil, has been in the deepest and lowest point in his life before and has pulled himself from the gutter!!! He is an insightful and is a simple kind of life type of person. He believes what he believes and he has the right to voice his opinion. He only believes what the bible teaches.
    A man should not lay with another man, that is what the bible teaches. But he does not condemn any one for their life style. He simply doesn’t agree with some of the life styles people live. As far as the black opinion, he stated that he did not see the bad things that happened to them, he just remember that the blacks that he knew were happy and were religious and loved God and that God would take care of them because of their strong belief in God!!! He is a country man and loves God and his way of life , Simple without the drama of the world. and he loves all of humanity whether he beileves in the things they do or not!! He is not judging, only God can judge!! And that is exactly what he says!!!! He has every right to voice his beliefs and opinion just like every citizen does. I think people are making a big deal out of this!!! This world loves drama and unnessiary drama at that!!! Get over it!!!I think I will boycott Aand E until they change their mind on Phil! He is a Godly man and is going by his religious beliefs!!! I’m not a religious person but I believe in the freedom of speech!!!! Good for you Phil!!

  • JR Gibbs

    Actually John his freedom of speech is under attack. You know, there was a time people were fired for being homosexual or expressing support for homosexuality. Was that right? No? Is it legal, I am no lawyer, but I understand it is not. So, like I asked prior, if your boss does not agree with homosexuality and you do and you voice that view, can you be fired? If you feel marijuana should be legal, but your boss does not, should you be fired? If you are a democrat and your boss is a republican and you support a democrat for office, can you or should you be fired? This is a matter of right and wrong. It is right for some to voice their views and not be fried or suspended, but not for those opposed to your views? That is a very dangerous slope. At some point the pendulum will swing and I will be supporting your right to free speech again without fear of being fired or persecution.

  • Spleen

    Also, for those of you quoting the bible, according to the bible you:

    shouldn’t eat pork (Leviticus 11:4)

    shouldn’t eat shrimp (Leviticus 11:9-12),

    you shouldn’t wear blended fabrics (Leviticus 19:19),

    you shouldn’t plant different crops together (Leviticus 19:19),

    and you ladies aren’t allowed to chime in on scripture at all (1 Tim. 2:12-13).

    And let us not forget that your religion is to be a private matter, and not worn pinned to your chest like a badge (Matthew 6:6).

    All of these things, according to the bible, are just as serious of indiscretions as “laying with another man.”

  • Spleen

    @JRGibbs

    He has the right to say what he wants, and A&E has the right to not assist him in spreading that opinion.

    They aren’t stopping him from exercising his right to free speech. He can say what he wants and they can help him spread his opinion or not.

    They choose not to, and that is THEIR right.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

  • JR Gibbs

    I understand full well. Answer this: Can you be fired of suspended for stating your view in support of homosexually when not at the work place? Answer that question: Can you be fired for going to a protest in support of anything on your own time. I think, this is a legal question that has been answered many times in the past. Now, with that said, do you support freedoms for some and not all? You don’t think that someone dangling your job or lively hood in front of your face for speaking your mind when not on the clock is not interfering with you freedoms of speech? That is actually communism. What is so hard for you to understand. Oh, that last sentence is a bulling tactic by you, I get it.

  • Spleen

    Of course you can. If your behavior is capable of damaging your bosses business they can fire you.

    If I was working for, say, BestBuy, and I was in public spouting hate while wearing my BestBuy uniform then I am representing that company and they have every right in the world to fire me for damaging their public image. This is basic capitalism.

    The DD guys represent A&E and the things they say cause the company backlash. They are contractually obligated in ways that they average worker isn’t.

    The legal question has been answered many times in the past, and the answer is that the company has the right to protect themselves from the people representing them. They do not have a legal obligation to spread the opinions of an employee.

    Also, you apparently have absolutely no idea what communism is. You need to head back to your dictionary.

    Everyone has the freedom to say what they want, but their employer has the freedom to distance themselves from that opinion to protect themselves.

    American citizens are entitled to free speech by the constitution. They are not entitled to employment. That is not a right. This case is not discrimination.

    They are not preventing Phil from speaking his mind. They are simply not assisting him in doing so, which they are not legally obligated to do.

    • Jane Doe

      It is all about the money, you’re right Spleen. And you notice the term they use is “suspended” to cover their hind end, just in case they made the wrong decision. So watch, it’s all about the money, not morals. They will revoke the suspension with all the negative publicity they are receiving over this. You, Spleen are only seeing this in dollar signs. Many of the rest of us are seeing in a more moral point of view.

      • Spleen

        Moral point of view? You have a skewed version of morality if comparing LGBT people to those who practice beastiality. Supporting people who claim blacks had it better under Jim Crow? Oh, yeah, totally moral.

        Sigh

    • LL

      Spleen, don’t you realize that logic isn’t tolerated ’round these parts ;p

      It’s all about the money, end of story. You’re absolutely right. Hands down and case closed.

      And even if he didn’t directly quote the words “Jim Crow” in his interview the parts where he spoke of the black population that WERE in quotes was not so favorable. He blatantly spoke of them as very different than himself just in his verbiage.

      Ugh, I think I’m using words with too many syllables here.

  • arnold fudpucker

    A & E is a bunch of intolerant bigots. Won’t be watching their junk anymore. They were going downhill anyway. Bad management I hear.

  • Nada Surf

    The answer to the question posed at the start of this article “Is this man simply expressing his beliefs or spewing bigotry?” is yes, both. Your beliefs can be bigoted. This is the same religion that was interpreted to say mixing races was wrong, which we all know to be bigotry. He’s choosing to interpret christianity in a way that let’s him compare my love life to being a drunk or a terrorist.

  • Jasper

    A & E can fire Phil because what he said; you can “fire” A & E by not watching their shows because what A & E did. it’s simple as that; I bet A & E will think twice. it’s all about $$. Keep faith you believe.

  • Sarah

    I have never watched this program therefore I cannot make comment about the stars or programming.
    What I am very familiar with are contracts individuals sign before any programming or filming take place.
    Any television network that hires individuals has MANY disclosure features such as their public speaking, behavior off the show, etc.

    Mr. Robertson has a Masters in Education therefore he is highly intelligent and and can easily understand his contract.
    As a private company A & E has priority to hire and fire and make decisions as long as they follow the written contract.

    Frankly I think when Mr. Robertson agreed to an interview with GQ Magazine he knew exactly what he was doing. Some would call it marketing genius. Anyone read GQ Magazine lately? The magazine targets men only with high fashion, travel, left leaning political views and advice on night-time activities.

  • jonell collins

    I have thought in the past that this news station was highly biased. Now i feel sure. During the news tonite the newsman stated that Phil Robertson compared homosexuality with terrorism. I have not read that in any of the transcripts of the interview. Please present the evidence.

  • teresa

    this is the man who says a prayer at the end of each show, knowing he was a Godly man, I have to believe they asked him about his opinions just to set him up. This used to be a God fearing nation now we are a lost nation & we seem to be getting worse every hour of every day.

  • Ford

    Totally support this family…they have brought family back together!!! Bring Phil back with A&E apologizing…not him! May God have mercy on you, A & E. I wouldn’t work for a company like yours!!

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