Duck Dynasty is currently the most popular reality show on TV, but comments from show patriarch Phil Robertson could be changing all that soon.
TV network A&E has suspended Robertson after he said things about "homosexual behavior" in the January 2014 issue of GQ magazine, after his candid interview with the magazine stirred up a major controversy.
Robertson's aired his religious beliefs and personal views on same sex relationships during his chat with GQ's Drew Magary. During the interview, the deeply religious star was honest about his personal ideals, saying that he has no hatred or disrespect for the lifestyle, it just goes against what he believes.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong... Sin becomes fine," 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. He then paraphrased the Biblical book Corinthians, adding, “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.”
"We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty," a statement sent to People magazine from A&E reads. "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."
Phil goes on to say that he doesn't understand how gay men don't find a woman's lady parts more desirable than another man's.
"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.”
“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," he says. "We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
"We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job," he added. "We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus – whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists."
Phil's comments received harsh criticism from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which issued a statement on Wednesday.
"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," GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said in a statement. "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 re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families."
The reality star did release a statement in response to GLAAD's criticism, saying that despite his personal beliefs he has no disrespect or hatred of others over the lifestyles they choose.
"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," he said.
"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."
Ironically, Robertson spoke of the future of his family's show during the interview as well, saying that it won't be around forever.
“Let’s face it. “Three, four, five years, we’re out of here. You know what I’m saying?" he says. "It’s a TV show. This thing ain’t gonna last forever. No way.”