A&E puts 'Duck Dynasty' star on hiatus after anti-gay comments

By Patrick Kevin Day

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson has been put on an indefinite hiatus from filming the smash hit A&E reality series following inflammatory remarks about gay people he made in an interview with GQ magazine.

In a statement, A&E Networks said, "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.' 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 networks has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

In the interview, which appears in the January issue of GQ, Robertson, founder of the Duck Commander family business of duck calls, referred to gay people as "homosexual offenders" who would not "inherit the Kingdom of God." He also said a woman's vagina was "more desirable" than a man's anus.

"But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man," he told the publication. "It's just not logical."

A representative for A&E acknowledged that Robertson would be appearing in some episodes of the upcoming fifth season of the show that had already been completed at the time of his suspension. The new season premieres on A&E on Jan. 15.

Robertson has drawn much heat for the comments, especially from GLAAD, which said, "Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe."

The "Duck Dynasty" star also released his own statement to Fox411 on Wednesday, saying, in part, "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."

Before the comments, "Duck Dynasty" had been an unqualified success for A&E, with the show's fourth season premiere grabbing a record-breaking 11.8 million viewers, making it the top-rated nonfiction series in cable history.