In the hours following A&E's announcement to suspend Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson for expressing his views on homosexuality, we've heard opinions from the average Joe to governors. The Robertson family chimed in on the suspension on the Duck Commander website and it appears that they may decide not to go forward with filming future episodes of the hit show.
Check out the official family statement below.
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 Phil’s 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.
The hullabaloo all started this past Wednesday when GQ's interview with Phil Robertson made waves. During the interview Phil was asked about sin and he touched on homosexuality in his response. “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,” Robertson said. Many people became furious after reading Robertson's comments and A&E ultimately decided to suspend the Robertson family patriarch since his beliefs aren't in line with theirs.
Since A&E made the announcement to suspend Phil indefinitely, many folks have come out to support the duck hunter. There are many Facebook pages asking TV watchers to boycott A&E until they decide to lift Phil's suspension. One group called Stand With Phil Robertson has amassed more than 1 million fans since its creation on Wednesday evening.
Season 5 of Duck Dynasty is supposed to premiere on A&E on January 15. Ratings for the show have been strong, so it will be interesting to see what happens in terms of viewers if Phil isn't allowed back on the show by the premiere date, especially now that the family indicates they won't continue with the show without Phil.
Image via Duck Commander