‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson Bashes Homosexuals in Newly Revealed Video From 2010
The firestorm of controversy surrounding 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson just got hotter.
The 67-year-old patriarch of the Robertson clan -- stars of the enormously popular show on A&E -- was suspended on Wednesday (Dec. 18) after comments that he made about homosexuals and African Americans in an upcoming issue of GQ hit the internet, causing a national controversy.
Robertson — who told GQ that he sees the success of the show as a platform to spread the gospel — didn’t hold back when asked to define what he considers “sinful.”
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he replied. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
Robertson supported his views by using Scripture. “Don’t be deceived,” he added, paraphrasing from Corinthians. “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he said that while growing up in pre-civil rights era Louisiana, he “never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” he insisted, adding, “Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
A&E responded by placing him on indefinite hiatus, saying in part, "His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks."
Robertson attempted to clarify his remarks in the following statement:
I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, 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.
But a new video that has come to light shows Robertson making similar -- and even more controversial -- remarks in 2010, while addressing a dinner at the Berean Bible Church in Pennsylvania.
Beginning at 17:30 in the video above, Robertson thunders about the "gross sexual immorality" of homosexuals, adding, “Is that going on in the United States of America? Look around . . . boy, is there some immorality going on around here.”
Further on, at 18:25, he proclaims, “They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God-haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are truthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”
The Robertson family issued a statement on Thursday, standing by their patriarch and calling the future of the show into question. "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," they said. "We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of 'Duck Dynasty.'"
There has been a backlash against the backlash online, with numerous petitions demanding Robertson's reinstatement, claiming A&E's decision violated his First Amendment right to free speech. Sarah Palin, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Rush Limbaugh are among those who have come to Robertson's defense, along with country music legend Charlie Daniels, who said, "It's a sorry day in America when a man speaks his mind and gets suspended from work for expressing heartfelt religious opinions."
All of those public defenses and petitions took place before the 2010 video came to light.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, executives at A&E have hired extra security at their Manhattan offices after receiving death threats. A source tells THR that despite the enormous media coverage, the show has lost just one advertiser so far, and network brass -- who negotiated a new long-term, very lucrative deal with the cast earlier this year -- still believe the show can be saved.