*A&E has told “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson to go have a seat for a minute following anti-gay remarks he made in a recent profile in GQ.
“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. “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 the article, Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality, and said that during his Louisiana childhood, he picked cotton with African-Americans before “entitlements” and “welfare” came along, and never saw “the mistreatment of any black person. Not once.”
“Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers,” he told the magazine. “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.”
A&E says it did not receive any complaints regarding his comments about African Americans, but gay rights groups were quick to condemn his remarks about the LGBT community.
Robertson says in the January issue of the men’s magazine: “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.”
During a discussion about repentance and God, Robertson is asked what he finds sinful.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he says. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
He goes 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. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
GLAAD on Wednesday condemned his remarks as “some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication” and said “his quote was littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”
The Human Rights Campaign also slammed Robertson. “Phil Robertson’s remarks are not consistent with the values of our faith communities or the scientific findings of leading medical organizations,” president Chad Griffin said in a statement. “We know that being gay is not a choice someone makes, and that to suggest otherwise can be incredibly harmful.”
Robertson released his own statement in response to the flap early Wednesday: “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.”
“Duck Dynasty” has become a breakout hit for A&E, regularly luring 9 million-plus viewers. Despite his suspension, Robertson will likely appear in early episodes of season four, which bows Jan. 15, since production is largely wrapped.
Below, GQ asked Phil Robertson why he voted Romney in 2012:
“If I’m lost at three o’clock in a major metropolitan area…I ask myself: Where would I rather be trying to walk with my wife and children? One of the guys who’s running for president is out of Chicago, Illinois, and the other one is from Salt Lake City, Utah. [Editor’s note: Romney is from Boston, not Salt Lake City.] Where would I rather be turned around at three o’clock in the morning? I opted for Salt Lake City. I think it would be safer.”