Phil Robertson, star of the hit A&E reality series “Duck Dynasty,” has been put on hiatus by the network after he made inflammatory remarks about homosexuality.
In a new interview with GQ magazine, Robertson, 67, who turned to God after his own struggles with morality, explained that, in his eyes, homosexual behavior – along with bestiality – is sinful.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he said. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
Still, “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” he added. “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?”
In a statement released this evening, A&E said Robertson has been put on hiatus from the series.
“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,” the network said in the statement.
GLAAD released a statement calling his sentiments “some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication.”
“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,” GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said. “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 re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
Robertson and his family, including son Jep, who has said he’s “definitely in line” with his father’s beliefs, live in Louisiana.
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” Phil Robertson told GQ. “The Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”