Will Duck Dynasty be canceled? Phil Robertson’s family is standing by him in the wake of his anti-gay comments and hinted that the show can’t continue without him. The reality star was suspended indefinitely by A&E after his comments in a new interview with GQ magazine, in which he declared that homosexuality was a sin and compared it to bestiality.
"While some of Phil's unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil would never incite or encourage hate,” read a statement from his family on the Duck Commander website. “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.”
In the GQ interview, Robertson shocked and angered plenty of readers with his anti-gay comments. "It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me,” said Phil. “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."
Robertson was also accused of racism after speaking about hoeing cotton alongside black people before the civil rights era in Louisiana. “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!” he said. "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
After the comments went viral, the NAACP and Human Rights Campaign issued a joint statement to the President of A&E. "What he didn't see were lynching and beatings of black men and women for attempting to vote or simply walking down the street," read the letter. "And his offensive claims about gay people fly in the face of science. In fact, it's important to note that every single leading medical organization in the country has said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBT -- it's not a choice, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous."
However, not everyone is turning away from Robertson after his comments. A Change.org petition to bring Robertson back to Duck Dynasty has collected over 20,000 signatures, while the Facebook page “Bring Back Phil Robertson” has over 35,000 likes. The petition states that, "There is a difference between respecting someone rights to exercise free will and imposing on others what we believe. Phil has done nothing more than state what he believes in. Just because homosexuals do not agree, does not mean Mr. Robertson needs to be suspended."