‘Duck Dynasty’ Family Issues Statement: “We Cannot Imagine the Show Going Forward”
The Robertsons have since issued a statement supporting the 67-year-old Duck Commander and have casted doubt on the return of the A&E series, which pulled in a record-breaking 11.8 million viewers during its season 4 debut in August.
Here is the statement:
"The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word,” reads the statement. “While some of Phil's unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible," the statement says.
"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. 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. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family."
Phil's firing came after the Louisiana native spoke of his disapproval of same-sex relationships in the January issue of GQ.
"It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus, that's just me," Robertson told the mag. "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.
"Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there," added Phil, who was caught on tape three years ago making the same anti-gay comments to a church congregation in Pennsylvania. "… Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."