Following a recently published profile of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, in which Robertson made anti-gay remarks, the network has decided to place the patriarch of the family on indefinite leave.
“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.", a statement released by A&E reads. "His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”
This all stems from a profile the January issue of GQ Magazine is running on Robertson, in which he says “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. 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.”
Following that interview, GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz issued the following statement:
“What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “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."
But the anti-gay comments aren't the only thing Robertson is on the defense against. In the same GQ interview, he also made a claim that African Americans were better off in the pre-civil rights era:
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
This comment, along with his previous one, has garnered the attention of the NAACP, as well as the Human Rights Campaign. Both joined together in calling for A&E to take action against Robertson.
There is no word yet on when Robertson will return to the show, if ever. He will appear in new episodes starting in January, which have already been filmed. Beyond that, Robertson may be sidelined permanently from the show.