Dec. 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM ET
"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson has been taken off the A&E hit series "indefinitely," following anti-gay comments he made in a GQ interview published online Wednesday that appears in the Dec. 24 issue.
“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 network statement issued late Wednesday said. "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.”
A&E took action against Robertson after GLAAD condemned the "Duck Commander's" quotes.
"Everything is blurred in what's right and wrong," Robertson complained in GQ. "Sin becomes fine." The Louisiana-based entrepreneur clarified: "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there — bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
The devout Christian then paraphrased a biblical passage: "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."
In a statement, GLAAD said: “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
Meanwhile, Catlin Cahow, a member of the United States women's national ice hockey team who was recently named to the U.S. delegation to the 2014 Sochi Olympics — and who is lesbian — told TODAY's Matt Lauer Thursday that she was "disappointed" by the comments.
"Words that are negative in that way hurt everyone and they reflect poorly on us as a society," she said. "But I do understand that there are changing winds in the United States and people are adapting and evolving and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. ... I look forward to a tomorrow when these classifications no longer exist."
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin also jumped into the fray and defended Robertson in a Facebook post on Wednesday. "Free speech is an endangered species," Palin wrote on a photo of herself with Robertson and company. "Those 'intolerants' hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us." The post had more than 14,000 comments and had been shared more than 36,000 times by Thursday.
The show will continue filming without Robertson.