Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s hit series Duck Dynasty, has been placed on indefinite hiatus following an interview with GQ Magazine in which he said that homosexuality led to bestiality and sleeping around with women. The elder Robertson is often portrayed on the series as being out of touch with modern culture. He frets that the members of his family, which owns Duck Commander, a company that manufactures hand-tuned duck calls, are all becoming yuppies because of the company’s success; and he proudly states he doesn’t own or use a computer.
What Phil does own is that he thinks being gay is a sin, then quoting Corinthians before overhsaring about his feelings on how body parts might feel:
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…
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’s remarks sparked outrage in the LGBT and ally communities. GLAAD issued a statement calling the bearded grandpa’s comments:
some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication” and said “his quote was littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”
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 re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.
Humans Rights Campaign stated:
Phil Robertson’s remarks are not consistent with the values of our faith communities or the scientific findings of leading medical organizations. We know that being gay is not a choice someone makes, and that to suggest otherwise can be incredibly harmful. We also know that Americans of faith follow the Golden Rule — treating others with the respect and dignity you’d wish to be treated with. As a role model on a show that attracts millions of viewers, Phil Robertson has a responsibility to set a positive example for young Americans — not shame and ridicule them because of who they are. The A+E Network should take immediate action to condemn Phil Robertson’s remarks and make clear they don’t support his views.
Phil Robertson’s comments were also not consistent with the views of Chris Morelli and Tad Eaton, the openly gay stars of A&E’s Storage Wars New York, who told TMZ:
[man ass] is tighter…You can’t go through life worrying what other people think. That’s their values and that’s what they think … as long as they’re not nasty to people … We’re not offended at all. We like Phil. We like the show. We like the fact that they are very godly. When we watch the show and see them say grace, we feel the same way.
Fans of Duck Dynasty–the series regularly draws 9 million viewers and has spawned a $400 million retail empire of licensed goods, which along with advertising revenues could have been impacted by an LGBT-launched boycott–have started a Facebook page decrying Phil Robertson’s ouster and calling for a boycott of A&E until he is back on. It has over 214,000 fans as I write.
Phil offered this unpology, issued via A&E before A&E’s parent production company A+E suspended him:
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.
When asked about Phil Robertson belief that gays won’t go to Heaven, Storage Wars New York‘s Chris and Tad responded in true Socratic fashion:
How does [Phil] know that? Is he God?
Why do I feel there’s going to be a crossover show with Chris and Tad visiting the Duck Commander factory and meeting Phil? Or maybe a group of LGBT get lost and must stay with Robertson clan. Hilarity ensues, along with shared moments, and both sides come to a comfortable understanding, then grace is said, as always.