Entertainment

Duck Dynasty: Can’t imagine show going on without Phil

(FoxNews) Duck season may soon be over for A&E.

The Robertson family released a statement late Thursday that raises doubts about the future of one of the most popular shows on cable television.

“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,” the Robertson family said in a prepared statement. “We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.”

The family said it has “spent much time in prayer” since learning A&E had suspended Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Louisiana family, over comments he made about homosexuality.

Robertson sparked a national debate on religion and tolerance in an interview with GQ magazine. The writer asked him what he considered to be sinful behavior.

“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.

Then he paraphrased Paul’s letter to the 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.”

The family defended Robertson’s comments and stressed that they 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,” the family said. “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.”

The family also criticized A&E for its actions, saying he was placed on hiatus “for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.”

Robertson’s comments drew immediate condemnation from gay rights groups who pressured the network to take action. On Wednesday, A&E announced Robertson was being removed from the show indefinitely.

“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,” the network 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.”

A&E’s decision to pull Robertson from the show drew strong support from the gay and lesbian rights group GLAAD.

“What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”

Duck Dynasty drew 11.8 million viewers in August for the debut of its fourth season – setting a record for a cable nonfiction series. Hundreds of thousands of outraged fans responded to the news of Robertson’s suspension by launching boycotts and petitions They accused the network of discriminating against Robertson because of his religious beliefs and violating his First Amendment rights.

“Free speech is an endangered species,” wrote former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on her Facebook page. “Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also voiced support for his embattled constituents.

“The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with,” he said. “It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News the suspension shows Hollywood wants to avoid reality.

“The reality is that the Robertson family are Bible-believing Christians who don’t cherry pick what the Bible teaches,” he said.

Perkins said the Duck Dynasty patriarch was targeted “simply because he expressed his religious beliefs but there is a clear double standard that is being applied.”

“It is time for all Americans to take a stand against the cultural elites who want to destroy the livelihood of people and remove God and His truth from every aspect of public life,” he said.

The Liberty Institute, a legal firm specializing in religious liberty cases, condemned A&E’s actions and urged them to reconsider.

“In the spirit of American tolerance of religious diversity, A&E should reinstate Mr. Robertson and apologize for its religious bigotry,” the statement read.

 

 

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

5 Comments to “Duck Dynasty: Can’t imagine show going on without Phil”

    Doris Little said:
    December 20, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    I Love the family and love the show please bring back Phil Love you all and merry Christmas

    mark wecker said:
    December 20, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    Well, it’s like this……they may be able to take CHRIST out of schools, tv, whatever but they will never take CHRIST out of our hearts, out of our minds, out of our spirits! The world is a sick place nowadays, I mean we accept things like a girl humping a camel on stage as funny….Really? I remember when funny on tv was one guy taken both fists and knocking the two guys standing next to him on there heads (KNOWN AS THE THREE STOOGES) WELL, they’re not changing my beliefs either! DUCK DYNASTY……I SUPPORT YOU IN WHATEVER YOU DO! March on or whatever you feel’s necessary!

    The Opinionated One said:
    December 20, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Hmm, a better question might be……..CAN A & E SURVIVE WITHOUT DUCK DYNASTY???? Perhaps this is what "the silent majority" needs to wake up, get involved, and let the politically correct police know that we don't like their way of thinking, and trying to force their way of life on the rest of us. The silent majority has sat back and left the left wingers pretty much do whatever they wanted. I think now is the time to take a stand for what is right. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what is politically correct. Who came up with that garbage? Politically correctness is getting way out of hand. The recently defrocked Methodist minister stated that the church has to get with the times, or something to that effect. Well, as far as I know, The Holy Bible has not changed, nor has the Word of God changed to "get with the times".

    stephanie cauler said:
    December 20, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    I am far from a religious person or a political one…BUT….this country is clearly going to HELL fast…the inconsideration, inhumanity and sick behavior in this world disgusts me to no end….and before everyone gets in an uproar…i have gay, by-sexual, straight, religious, political, lesbian friends…that is not the point….what u do is on you…..not my place or my job to judge…BUT when u are a rapist, child molester, beastiality, you take another persons life…..when u harm another animal or person…there is something seriously wrong with you…and u are the people who need stopped….but as far as this battle between beliefs, religious freedom and freedom of speech…..u need to back up….if you want your right to be seen and heard……then everyone has the right to be seen and heard….just because u do not like what another person says…..does not give u or anyone else the right to take that freedom of speech away from them…..u can't have it both ways….GLAAD….and A&E…..U can't preach your views and beliefs on everyone and not except everyone elses beliefs and views also…Phil Robertson did nothing wrong and your bashing him for his religious and personal beliefs is wrong especially…when u want everyone to except yours…..double standards are wrong and selfish….and weather there is a Heaven or Hell….everyone will have to deal with that one on their one time……and as far as all this "Political Correct" bullshit….is that just bullshit……its pretty sad when u have to say something in this country just because …….of pissing someone off…..if u say something just because its "politically correct" then its still a LIE…..so what your would rather be told the truth and deal with the truth or lied to….Personally i would rather deal with the truth or what a person truly feels than lied to my face and talked about behind my back….

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