Phil Robertson’s family is standing by him in the wake of his comments about gay people and declared that their hit reality show can’t continue without him. The Duck Dynasty star was suspended indefinitely by A&E after his comments in a new interview with GQ magazine, in which he declared that homosexuality was a sin and compared it to bestiality. His family expressed outrage at his First Amendment rights being violated and said they will forfeit their $80 million business empire unless he is brought back.
“While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil would never incite or encourage hate,” read a statement from his family on the Duck Commander website. “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.”
In the GQ interview, Robertson said he didn’t understand the homosexual lifestyle and said that he would let God “sort ’em out” on judgment day. “It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” said Phil. “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.”
Plenty of people are standing by Robertson after his comments, though. A Change.org petition to bring Robertson back to Duck Dynasty has collected over 20,000 signatures, while the Facebook page “Bring Back Phil Robertson” has over 35,000 likes. The petition states that, “There is a difference between respecting someone rights to exercise free will and imposing on others what we believe. Phil has done nothing more than state what he believes in. Just because homosexuals do not agree, does not mean Mr. Robertson needs to be suspended.”