Phil Robertson, the patriarch in the wildly popular reality TV show "Duck Dynasty," is getting slammed for remarks he made about gays and blacks in an interview featured in the January issue of GQ. A&E has suspended Robertson from his role on the show, which begins airing season 5 in January.
In the interview, Robertson opened up about "controversial" topics he says he's prohibited from talking about on the show, or it isn't included in the show.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus," Robertson told GQ. "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.”
Robertson goes on to explain how he thinks the line between right and wrong has been blurred and that "sin becomes fine." He then expanded on what, in his opinion, is "sinful."
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there," Robertson told GQ. "Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men." According to GQ, Robertson then paraphrased scripture from the Bible, from Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. 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. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
A&E said it was disappointed with the comments made by one of its biggest stars, and said Robertson's remarks are not a reflection of the network.
"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&E said in a statement released Wednesday. "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."
Reaction on social media has been very opinionated, with many people supporting Robertson's views. The hashtags #IStandWithPhil and #DuckDynasty were trending most of the day Thursday.
In a joint letter from the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign, the organizations demanded that A&E make Robertson apologize for remarks about gays and African-Americans they characterized as "outlandishly inaccurate and offensive."
"We urge A&E to immediately denounce and repudiate Robertson’s comments. Furthermore, we call on you to see that Phil Robertson apologizes for his vitriolic comments. Surely a brand like A&E does not want to be associated with such racist and homophobic remarks," the statement reads.
A Change.org petition asking for Robertson to be brought back to the show had more than 50,000 signatures Thursday afternoon.