Update: A&E announced earlier that they were banning Phil from the network, a decision that may have lost them the top rated reality television show. The Robertson family just released a statement on their Duck Commander website that says that they are standing by Phil and that Duck Dynasty will not go on without him.
In the upcoming issue of GQ magazine hitting stands on Dec. 24 is an interview of Phil Robertson, star of Duck Dynasty, in which he made several slandering statements during the interview about gays. This Duck Dynasty star is now being slammed for his anti-gay comments, a move that critics are saying may effect the popularity of the show on A&E.
Since its premier in March 21, 2012, Duck Dynasty has experienced a major rise in viewers, totaling as much as 11.8 million viewers for the season four premier in August. The series popularity has continued to break records as the show moved to its Christmas special, though now the series could be facing a loss in viewers as it is now under fire from the comments made by Phil Robertson, the father in Duck Dynasty.
Robertson reportedly told GQ many anti-gay phrases that included comments like “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong…start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” where he continued with comments eventually quoting a phrase from Corinthians in the Bible. Robertson also stated that he did not understand why a man would want to be gay and that it just was not logical.
His anti-gay comments obviously attracted the attention of many gay and lesbian rights groups, one of which was GLAAD, who slammed the Duck Dynasty star by stating, “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.” They continued by making statements about A&E taking action on the show as a result.
Many TV viewers are also responding with hateful comments towards Robertson’s anti-gay comments, leading some to believe that Duck Dynasty may fall out from its record breaking popularity of a reality series.
At the current moment A&E has not made any official statements regarding Phil’s interview except a statement on behalf of Phil in which he stated that he considered it “the Almighty’s” job to judge people’s lifestyles and that while he believes in man and woman being together, he shows nothing but love to everyone no matter the chosen lifestyle. He also told a story of his past with “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” so that viewers would know that he has also sinned before.
Whether the individual statements of Robertson will affect the ratings or not remains to be seen, but the question on many viewers minds is whether this statement should cause problems for Duck Dynasty or not.
Whether the statements are right or wrong, they are controversial. Comments expressed by many seem to be showing a difference in opinion over the matter, as many claim that there is “a difference” between opinion and support.
When the show came out, Duck Dynasty was about a family who rose to wealth through their duck hunting company Duck Commander. It was no secret that this family was outspoken about family values, Godly values, and hard work. In many episodes of the show they have represented their religious beliefs in front of many viewers and many viewers continued to watch.
Many who have commented on Phil’s behalf across the web have posted that in the world today, anti-gay comments are taken very seriously, but the family of Duck Dynasty has never been secretive of their beliefs.
The fact that Phil does not believe in gay or lesbian relationships came as no surprise to many of his viewers, as the show has always given some indication of how Phil feels about marriage.
While many comments by viewers have not supported Phil’s anti-gay comments, they have stated the belief that Phil is entitled to his beliefs and that the Duck Dynasty star should not have been slammed for his remarks. As reflected in his comments, Phil believes that he and his family always show a measure of kindness to everyone, regardless of their situation, and since the remarks he has backed his statement and stood firm in his beliefs.
Phil’s son Jep stated about the family, regarding Phil’s remarks, “We’re not quite as outspoken as my dad, but we’re definitely in line. If someone asks I’ll tell ’em what the Bible says.'”
As the series continues critics are anxious to see how Phil’s anti-gay comments will affect the stardom of Duck Dynasty after being slammed by many. Viewers can only wait to see whether Robertson’s actions will affect the show. Readers can view Phil’s interview in GQ when the issue hits stands next week. Season five of Duck Dynasty is currently set to premier Jan. 15.
By Crystal Boulware