Ducky Dynasty Family Releases Statement
"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson has been suspended from the top- rated A&E reality series indefinitely after disparaging gays as sinners and adulterers and saying African-Americans were "happy" before the Civil Rights movement.
A&E announced a "hiatus" for the 67-year-old Robertson after he told a reporter in the January edition of GQ Magazine that being gay, "isn't right," and that in his native Louisiana blacks were singing and during the pre-Civil Rights era, adding he never saw any blacks mistreated.
Gay rights groups condemned his comments, but also praised A&E for its swift response.
Robertson has his supporters, too. More than a half-million people liked an impromptu Facebook page demanding the show be boycotted until he returns.
"Duck Dynasty" is on hiatus until Jan. 15, and a network spokesman said Thursday that nine of next season's 10 episodes have already been filmed. That means Robertson likely isn't needed in front of the camera before next March.
The Robertson family has released a statement on its Duck Commander website regarding the A&E decision to suspend patriarch Phil Robertson in light of the comments he made to GQ.
"We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phils unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and Love your neighbor as yourself. Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family."