Phil Robertson, star of the popular A&E show Duck Dynasty was suspended after his comments to GQ magazine about homosexuality.
UPDATE: TMZ has reported that Robertson’s views on homosexuals have been known for years. See below a sermon he gave in 2010 calling gay people shameful, perverse, heartless, senseless god haters. If A&E knew this before, why fire him now?
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“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.”
Duck Dynasty is a reality mega-hit, featuring the stories of the Robertson family. Phil Robertson’s show is popular with Christians due to the strong spiritual themes and the family’s deeply held beliefs in God. Each episode will generally feature a prayer and the family makes no secret where they stand on conservative issues. However, they generally have a very positive message on the show and don’t go out of their way to be offensive to people they don’t agree with.
Robertson’s recent comments are a departure from the more positive approach he takes on the show.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. 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. 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.”
Robertson was paraphrasing Corinthians in the previous paragraph. That may be his own beliefs, and he is certainly entitled to them even if others disagree. But he didn’t stop there, he decided to take it further and inject his understandings of biology.
Robertson: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. 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.”
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People naturally would be upset over someone saying that, and A&E has to bow to pressure from their sponsors, advertisers and pressure groups.
One such group GLAAD, was quick to condemn the statements. Spokesperson Wilson Cruz said “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. 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 reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
A&E listened, and Robertson is out for now.
Robertson issued a statement about the controversy through A&E:
“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
Sounds like someone who is looking for another chance at redemption.