The Robertson family, which stars in A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” is threatening to pull out of the hit reality show over the suspension of Phil Robertson following the family patriarch’s controversial comments about gays and blacks, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.
In a statement on the family’s website, they wrote, “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.’”
The statement adds, “We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.”
As previously reported, Robertson was suspended after telling GQ magazine that “homosexual offenders” will not “inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have come to Robertson’s defense. Conservative interest groups have since rallied in his defense, as well, reports Deadline.com, which called the incident “A&E’s ‘Duck Dynasty’ disaster train.”
The American Family Association stated: “Declaring God’s perspective on God’s design for human intimacy has now become a career-ending offense in America.”
Meanwhile, “thousands of fans” assailed A&E over its decision to suspend Robertson, The New York Times reports.
“On Facebook and other social media sites, supporters of the family — along with religious and conservative groups — accused A&E of attacking Christian values and free speech,” the newspaper notes.
While some critics said Robertson’s position is similar to the pope’s, an unnamed A&E executive said the decision was made based on Robertson’s graphic language and his comparison of homosexuality and bestiality, The New York Times reports.
Meanwhile, Palin offered a suggestion to the Robertson family.
“Our new show that’s coming to Sportsman Channel, I was thinking about that this morning, too. Maybe ‘Duck Dynasty’ needs to scoot on over to that new network to charge some things up there, and I’m sure they’d be welcome with open arms,” Palin said Thursday on “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.