Phil Robertson, patriarch of the duck call-making Robertson family and one of the stars of the hit A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty,” has been put on indefinite hiatus after making derogatory remarks about gay people in a GQ magazine interview, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.
In the immediate aftermath of the move, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal added his voice to the chorus of supporters of Robertson, while a group of fans started a petition aimed at getting him reinstated.
As previously reported, Robertson told GQ that “homosexual offenders” will not “inherit the Kingdom of God,” drawing a rebuke from GLAAD.
He also said that a woman’s vagina is “more desirable” than a man’s anus, according to the Times.
E! Online reports that Louisiana Gov. Jindal said in a statement: "Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views."
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came out in support of Robertson earlier on Twitter, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed. “Free speech is endangered species; those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all,” she wrote.
A&E Networks said it was “extremely disappointed” in Robertson’s remarks, which the company said “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 networks has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
Robertson will appear in some episodes of the fifth season, which were already completed before he was suspended, the story notes. The season premieres Jan. 15.
Robertson appeared to soften his remarks in a previous statement from A&E, as we reported Wednesday. In that statement, Robertson said: "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.”
Fox News reports that a petition was started demanding that Robertson be reinstated on the show. The petition from Faith Driven Consumer reads in part: “Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family — a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole. Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility."