Update: "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson has been suspended from the show indefinitely by A&E Networks following his controversial remarks about homosexuality in a GQ interview, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“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.
In addition to his comments about homosexuality (see below for details) Robertson also made some equally controversial statements about African Americans in his home state of Louisiana.
As the Tribune reports, "In a quote that may raise even more eyebrows than his feelings about gays, Robertson claims he 'never' saw black people mistreated during the pre-civil rights era in his home state, and strongly suggests that African Americans were more content under Jim Crow [laws].
"Where we lived was all farmers," Robertson told GQ. "The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. 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.”
Original story: A&E's hit series "Duck Dynasty" is under fire after star Phil Robertson made what Yahoo! is calling "some seriously divisive anti-gay remarks that have sparked instant backlash."
In an interview with GQ for its upcoming January issue, Robertson reportedly said when "everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong ... sin becomes fine." Clarifying what he considers "sinful," Robertson said, "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 went on to paraphrase 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," he said. "Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
But he wasn't done yet. Digging himself deeper into a PR black hole, he continued, "It seems 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."
According to Yahoo!, Robertson then claimed that whatever his views, "We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job," he told GQ. "We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus — whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later, you see what I'm saying?"
The gay-rights organization GLAAD quickly issued a response. "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," said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz. "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."
In a statement released today by A&E, Robertson attempted to clarify his remarks, but didn't back away from anything he'd said. "I myself am a product of the '60s," he said. "I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock 'n' 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."
In addition to starring in the A&E series and operating the Louisiana-based hunting business Duck Commander, members of the Robertson family also have a record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville, which released their top-selling holiday album "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas" on Oct. 29.