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Patriarch off 'Duck Dynasty' after gay comments

This 2012 photo released by A&E shows, from left, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson from the A&E series, "Duck Dynasty." The A&E channel says "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson is off the show indefinitely after condemning gays as sinners in a magazine interview. In a statement Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, A&E said it was extremely disappointed to read Robertson's comments in GQ magazine. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
This 2012 photo released by A&E shows, from left, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson from the A&E series, "Duck Dynasty." The A&E channel says "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson is off the show indefinitely after condemning gays as sinners in a magazine interview. In a statement Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, A&E said it was extremely disappointed to read Robertson's comments in GQ magazine. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
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Updated: 12/19/2013 10:32 am
LOS ANGELES -- "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson is off the hit A&E reality series indefinitely after disparaging gays as sinners akin to adulterers and swindlers, the network said.

A&E announced Wednesday what it called a "hiatus" for Robertson, 67, after he disparaged gays in the January edition of GQ magazine. He also said that, growing up in Louisiana before the Civil Rights movement, he never saw mistreatment of blacks.

In a statement, A&E said it was extremely disappointed to see Robertson's anti-gay remarks, which it said were based on his personal beliefs and do not reflect those of A&E Networks or the show. A&E called itself a supporter of the lesbian and gay community.

The channel's move was lauded by the gay and lesbian media advocacy group GLAAD, which had quickly condemned Robertson's comments.

"What's clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike," said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz. Robertson's removal "has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value."

Robertson and his extended family became wealthy manufacturing duck calls and were turned into TV and pop culture stars by "Duck Dynasty," which has set cable ratings records for a non-fiction series. Several family members appeared in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

In his GQ interview, Robertson was asked his definition of sinful behavior.

"Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there," such as bestiality, he said.

GQ said he then paraphrases a biblical reference: "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."

Robertson and his family had no comment on his hiatus, A&E said on their behalf. He may be in some previously taped scenes when the show returns Jan. 15 for its fifth season, a network spokesman said.

Robertson did respond to initial criticism of his GQ remarks.

"I myself am a product of the '60s" who indulged in sex and drugs until hitting bottom and accepting Jesus as his savior, he said in a statement. Although his mission is to teach people that men and women are meant to be together Robertson said he "would never treat anyone with disrespect" because they are different.

In the interview, he also said that in his Louisiana youth he picked cotton with African-Americans and never saw "the mistreatment of any black person. Not once."

"We're going across the field.... They're singing and happy.

I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' — not a word!" Robertson told the magazine.

A&E said it had received no complaints about those remarks.

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equalityboy81 - 12/19/2013 12:29 PM
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In comments online some are alleging violation of the man's freedom of speech/freedom of religion/freedom of expression/constitutional rights, etc. and blaming the gay community for the disciplinary actions he has faced for his comments. No one is violating any of his rights nor is he being put in jail for it. You have the right to say what you want and feel what you want but that doesn't guarantee that there are not consequences for it or that others will not disagree with him. Freedom of speech/expression/religion doesn't mean others will agree with your views/opinions/beliefs or that you are guaranteed a job when you alienate millions of Americans by comparing homosexuality to bestiality (I don't see where there is any comparison there). I really don't think the man has to worry about any homosexual making a pass at him. He's not a good looking man actually quite the contrary. And gay people don't go up and start making unwelcome advances on men they find attractive. That is like saying every straight man goes up and puts the move on every woman he finds attractive. I hear he was fired and if people are angry about that then they need to take it up with those in the TV business who hired him. It is NOT the gays' fault or the "liberal" media!
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