Following the suspension of Phil Robertson from A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty, his family appears to be reevaluating their relationship with the cable channel.
In a statement released on their Duck Commander company website, the family said it “cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm” and is currently in discussions with A&E about what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.”
Robertson was suspended by A&E within hours after an article published by the magazine GQ quoted him making several statements condemning homosexuality. In the statement, the family acknowledged his remarks were “coarse” and “unfiltered” but said that they were “grounded in the teachings of the Bible.” The family added that Robertson “would never incite or encourage hate.”
When A&E announced Robertson’s suspension, it claimed it was “extremely disappointed” in his comments yet it has been airing it almost continuously since the controversy began.
“If Robertson further angers A&E, the programming execs will have to convince Disney to create a 25th hour in the day so they can squeeze in even more airings,” blogger Doug Powers quipped.
A&E is now in a difficult position thanks to the suspension. With the family publicly talking about leaving, the network may see the stars of cable’s top-rated show depart for another channel.
The full text of the Robertson family statement is below:
We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate. 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. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.