“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson has been suspended from the A&E reality series, following anti-gay remarks he made in an interview with GQ magazine.
In a statement, A+E Networks said he had been placed on indefinite hiatus.
“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,'” the company said. “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.”
GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz applauded the suspension, saying that it sends “a strong message.”
“What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” Cruz said. “By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”
Robertson (pictured above on the left) caused controversy with his comments, in which he grouped gays with “drunks” and “terrorists,” and said that they won’t “inherit the kingdom of God.”
Also read: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Bashes Gays
Asked what he considered sinful, Robertson told the magazine, “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.”
Robertson has described himself as a product of the ’60s who engaged in the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, but has since embraced Jesus Christ as his savior.
GLAAD excoriated Robertson for the interview, accusing him of pushing “vile and extreme stereotypes.”
“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,” Cruz said when the interview was made public. “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.”
“Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings smash for A&E, amassing 11.8 million total viewers with its Season 4 premiere in August.