The A&E network announced Wednesday night that it had suspended Phil Robertson, patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” clan, in the wake of antigay statements he made in GQ magazine.
A&E said that Mr. Robertson had been put on indefinite hiatus from the show, which is by far the biggest hit on the network.
In a statement, the network said, “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.’ His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the L.G.B.T. community.”
Mr. Robertson, who travels the country preaching, graphically denounced gay sex in the magazine and called it a sin.
The announcement has no immediate effect on the series because it is not currently in production. Mr. Robertson already filmed episodes for the next season of “Duck Dynasty” and a network spokesman said he would appear in many of those.
UPDATE 8:40 p.m.:
“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,” A&E said in a statement to USA TODAY. “His personal views in no way reflect those of
ORIGINAL STORY: Duck Dynasty is featured in a big spread in the January issue of GQ magazine.
And in the story, titled “What the Duck?” Phil Robertson, founder of the
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television. … You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
And on the subject of sin, he says:
“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,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “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. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
He goes on to say, “It seems like, to me,” a woman “would be more desirable …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.”
GLAAD has issued a statement condemning the remarks as “littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”
Says GLAAD spokesman
GLAAD says it has reached out to A&E to see if the network stands behind Robertson’s comments.
UPDATE 10:45 P.M.: Robertson has issued a statement in response:
“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. 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. 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.”