Phil Robertson Suspended From 'Duck Dynasty' After Anti-Gay Comments Cause Backlash; Gets Support From Sarah Palin
Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has been suspended from the hit reality show after a making a series of anti-gay and racist comments in an interview with GQ
Phil Robertson: Homosexuality Is A Sin
Phil, the patriarch of the Robertson clan depicted in Duck Dynasty, makes many shocking statements in the interview while speaking about his Christian faith. While the show focuses on semi-scripted adventures of Phil and his four sons, Alan, Willie, Jase, Jep and the fan favorite, “Uncle Si,” it does, inevitably, mention the Robertson family’s faith. However, Phil tells the magazine that A&E, the network behind Duck Dynasty, cuts out his Bible-centric views from the show. And, while everyone knows the show as a redneck, Christian, hunting fest, audiences might be surprised at just how far Phil’s faith goes, particularly regarding his views toward the “sin” of homosexuality.
“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,” Phil says.
Phil explains his view that the entire population of the U.S. should turn to God, as he believes that Christianity is at the key of the idyllic United States. Phil sees the world as one in which one sin snowballs into another.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that women and those men,” he says.
Phil makes clear that he doesn’t believe it is his place to judge others, but that he firmly believes in what he believes to be God’s judgment, saying, “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. 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?”
Phil also admits that what he deems the most important thing about staring on Duck Dynasty is the ability to spread his faith. The Robertson clan all make money traveling the country, giving lectures and writing books, hosting private bible studies.
“For the sake of Gospel, it was worth it. All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups,” Phil states.
Phil Robertson Suspended From 'Duck Dynasty'
The article, released on Tuesday, Dec. 17, caused a huge uproar among gay rights activists, who slammed Phil for grouping homosexuality with beastiality.
“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. 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,” Wilson Cruz, a GLAAD spokesperson, said in a statement.
Following the negative response to the interview, Phil issued a statement early Wednesday morning, saying that, though he believes what he said, he would never act hatefully towards others.
“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,” Phil said.
The attempted damage control, however, was too little too late, and the controversy led A&E to suspend Phil indefinitely from his show. A&E released a statement Wednesday, announcing his suspension from the show.
“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 LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely,” reads the statement.
Conservatives, Sarah Palin Defend Phil Robertson
Sarah Palin has come to Phil Robertson’s defense, citing his right to express his views, writing, “Free speech is an endangered species.”
Free speech is endangered species; those "intolerants" hatin' & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) December 19, 2013
Other high profile conservatives are also coming to Robertson’s defense, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who issued a press release comparing the backlash to media reaction to Miley Cyrus:
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”
Fans of Duck Dynasty, as well as those who simply agree with his views on religion and gay rights, are calling for a boycott of A&E and Duck Dynasty, the highest rated cable reality program on television.
In his interview with GQ, Phil didn’t stop at expressing his thoughts on the LGBT community, he also delivered a shocking statement on growing up in Louisiana before the Civil Rights movement, saying that he believed that African Americans were happy then:
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. 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: Where they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
Duck Dynasty Season Five is scheduled to premiere Jan. 15 on A&E.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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