TODAY   |  December 20, 2013

‘Duck’ clan ‘can’t imagine’ show without Phil

The stars of “Duck Dynasty” released a statement saying they “cannot imagine going forward without our patriarch at the helm.” Their network, A&E, suspended Phil Robertson earlier this week for his anti-gay comments made to GQ magazine. NBC News’ Kerry Sanders reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> from the duck dynasty family for the first time since phil was suspended over remarks. kerry sanders , good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, the family patriarch is not saying anything but his family is defending what he said in an article in gq magazine . they released a statement that said we are a family rooted in our faith in god and the belief that the bible is his word.

>> more distressed this morning in the duck dynasty. late last night the family of phil robertson issued a new statement casting doubt on the future of the show. as a family we can't imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. we're in discussions to see what that means for the future of duck dynasty.

>> reporter: the fire storm is growing since gq magazine published controversial statements from phil robertsons sand paraphrasing the bible listing homosexuals with male prostitutes and drunkards and others that won't inherit the kingdom of god .

>> women with women. men with men. they committed indecent acts with one another and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions.

>> they're hearing an outcry from americans that find this distasteful, offensive, and we won't stand for it.

>> reporter: but more than 1 million fans liked a new facebook page called like with phil robertson .

>> everyone should have a right to say what they wish.

>> it may not have come across in this quote but he's a man with love in his heart that believes in treating people with respect and equality.

>> reporter: one thing that's certain, the controversy isn't going away. i got a chance to spend, two months ago, time here with phil robertson and his wife miss kay for a different story i was working on. at a time i got an understanding of how deeply rooted their literal belief is of the bible. phil robertson told me at the time that he and the other men have their beards because scripture tells them men should not cut their facial hair. carson.

>> thank you. we'll keep an eye on that story very much.