A&E Places ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star on Indefinite Hiatus Over Anti-Gay Remarks

Following his ugly remarks about gay people in an interview with GQ, A&E Networks has placed Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson on an indefinite hiatus, GLAAD reports.

P_robertsonSaid A&E in a statement:

"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 network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

Said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz:

“What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike. By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value."

Comments

  1. Jon says

    I continue to be amazed at the lack of tolerance we as a gay community show to those who have differing opinions, and opinions that have been held by all of society for practically all of human history. And yet we expect people to change their opinions about LGBT people overnight?

    You know what WON’T cause people to change their opinions, but will make them dig in their heels and harden them to any attempts to get them to truly listen and understand is to do what HRC and GLAAD and other vocal gay rights folks have done, which is the calling for Phil Robertson’s removal (and the cancellation of Duck Dynasty). And then to have A&E remove Phil Robertson as they just did, well…we’ve just made a LOT of enemies. We can forget about winning hearts and minds with juvenile temper-tantrums like what many in the gay community has just displayed. And displayed in the comment section here at Towleroad on these stories.

    Dumb. Real dumb.

  2. Scott says

    This was so stupid. I agree @JON- tho, as far as I know, HRC and GLAAD didn’t call for the cancellation of the show or termination or even placing on leave of castmembers.

    A&E did this on their own- to gin up more controversy, to do a Chick-Fil-A, and have people support/buy Dynasty crap even more. A&E f*cked us over- they could care less about discrimination or prejudice- as a Gawker writer just commented about this- if they did they wouldn’t have had Dog the Bounty Hunter continue or countless other shows.

    Trust me- as a guy living in the South- and I don’t even live in the most rural of areas- Dynasty is a religion here. Ironically, many people love it more than Jesus. This will not be good for us at ALL.

    I pray GLAAD and HRC do some quick thinking and effectively distance and disavow themselves from this stupid, commercial-minded decision. It wasn’t for us like I said- it’s a marketing move. People are gonna watch it and buy their stuff even more and I wouldn’t be surprised at support for gay rights dropping even more in southern/Midwestern states- abysmal as it is already.

    I’m not being a Debbie Downer- I’m being realistic- h*ll,maybe even optimistic. We’re f*cked people.

  3. MickyFlip says

    Obviously there’s more about this guy that rubbed the network a little too abrasively if they were willing to give him the boot this quick. There’s more to him that we don’t know and they were looking for a good reason to get rid of him. Looks like they found it. And good for them.

  4. NotSafeForWork says

    Those same people in the South still wonder why black people are using the sidewalk and the white water fountain. Many of them will never change. We can’t lose something that we never had in the first place.

  5. simon says

    Perhaps the network has done some marketing research. The “north” generates more advertisement revenues than the “south”. Since they have different tastes, they should open a “south A&E channel”.

  6. Jim says

    Congrats A&E. So some think that rednecks will bellyache? Well, then, let somebody on an A&E program announce in a public venue that Christians are the equivalent of drunks and adulterers. That’s only fair. Give them a dose of the same medicine they hand out. Let’s see what the rednecks say and do then.

  7. Jon says

    @ NOTSAFEFORWORK – that is one of the most bigoted posts that I’ve read in a long time…much more bigoted than what Phil Robertson said. So you’re stereotyping an entire region of our nation? You’re obviously an ignorant hater, worse than the people “in the South” who you mischaracterized and were bigoted against just now.

    If you knew anything about the South, you’d know that it was one of the most race-friendly places around. Much moreso than most places in the North. But I’d hate to interrupt your horrible bigotry, since you can’t seem to be bothered by extending words of kindness towards people you know nothing about except some gross out-dated stereotype.

    Grow up. And stop embarrassing the gay community, please.

  8. McCoysMarketNYC says

    Scott and Jon: Are you guys for real?! What started the modern gay rights movement? The sad/funny/lovable gay next-door neighbor in sitcoms? The “we’re just like you!” same-sex marriage movement? Or the Stonewall riots? Face it: Some ass-backward Duck Dynasty-loving Southerner isn’t going to hate us any MORE or LESS than he/she already does because of this one issue. Have some balls, guys!

  9. m.r. says

    Good for A&E whatever their motivations. You can’t operate on the premise of lets never question discriminating remarks because people may not like you for it. If that’s the case, those people were against you anyways.

    In addition, all those people were crying about let’s not go after Chick Fil A because that means people won’t vote for marriage equality were proven wrong, wrong, wrong since every state that had it on the ballot voted for it and DOMA was overturned.

    You don’t need to grovel at the feet of the people who love Duck Dynasty. The same way black people didn’t grovel at Paula Deen’s feet despite the fact she had tons of supporters rallying for her. You need to stop acting like a scared little boy looking for a pat on the back from avowed homophobes and start standing up for your rightsd

  10. JackFknTwist says

    @ JON & SCOTT :

    Your comments astonish me.
    Apart from the fact that you seem to shirk from criticizing these Neanderthals- Duck Quacks- you propagate the notion that we should hold our demands for equality on the flimsy basis that “this will cause people to dig their heels in”.

    Well isn’t that what Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are doing in Russia ?
    Maybe we should shut about them also lest those reactionary forces become entrenched and cause people to turn against out demands !
    There is no belittling of gays which we should allow pass without fighting back…….that generation has passed……never again will we be told that our Love dare not speak its name.
    Never will we allow this treating us as lesser by any red neck gang of toothless tools.

    Wow, your comments are so mealy mouthed as to be despicable.

  11. Bart says

    A&E puts these people on television and then is surprised that they are these people. Seriously? He has a right to his ignorant opinions and a right to express them. And any other person has the right to voice their opinion about the Duck person’s stupidity and inbred opinions. Freedom of speech extends all the way around, not just to the ignorant who feel that they have a right to say whatever they want without consequence or backlash.

    But be clear, him getting fired or put on probation or whatever A&E did, that is on the network, no other group demanded that. And it is about publicity, not outrage…they knew what they were getting with these people.

  12. NotSafeForWork says

    Oh and Jon, I live in the South. Since 1984, and actually lived many years in CENLA, which is right down the road from the Robertsons. I see the racism, bigotry and homophobia every day. It’s alive and well here.

  13. simon says

    Though Obama said there are no red states and no blue states, the fact is the south usually means those red states which supported the Republican Party which happens to be the anti-gay party. They are not stereotypes. They are facts.

  14. Oncemorewithfeeling says

    The paid trolls are out in force tonight. As soon as a ugly is smacked down, this site goes right back to being Trollroad. Didn’t read any more than a handful of words from the volumes they wrote, of course. Does anybody?

  15. Scott says

    @JACKFCKNTWIST- I have to say, I have always liked your comments and enjoyed reading them. I get your criticism, and my opinion isn’t based in fear as much as wishing there to be more substantive, intelligent, effective countermeasures against these prejudiced opinions.

    PR is a big thing. And has been for our community; we’ve accomplished a lot through hardwork, and perseverance, and smart decision-making- all of that culminating in good PR.

    I would’ve loved for there to be a message of us taking the high road- or of the Robertsons somehow meeting a gay family or gay servicemember. Or not; I don’t know what the best tact would be. But I can tell you that this decision by A&E- as I noted earlier- won’t be good PR. And PR does matter. Now he seems like the victim- and he’s the one who made the rude comparisons!

    Maybe it’s just my view from living in an area where my homophobia is real and racism is alive and well. When people identify so strongly with a well known figure and that figure is diminished, people don’t respond well.

    I agree with you, JACK. Just want this to have worked out where he’s not the victim, and we’re seen as the oppressors. Sometimes what true doesn’t matter as much as what’s presented and how it’s portrayed.

  16. UrbanMike says

    People. America was fascinated by these duck people because they were weird bizarre anomalies. Like oddities in a circus sort of way. Not really aligned with their presumed small minded ness. So now that they have been exposed, people will fell free to move along. Very few will linger to blame the gay for the death of the duck. Trust me.

  17. John says

    I think it was a good thing GLAD didn’t call for his firing, but on the other hand, if Paula Dean could loose her cooking show empire over using a racist word, then I am glad that A & E thought that treating the Duck Dynasty idiot the same way was fair and fired his ass. Often in the past we were the one of the lowest minorities on the totem pole for getting media support. We can’t change how people think, but we can censor them when they say such hateful things about gays in public.It is a verbal form of bashing and needs calling out.

  18. jonvincent says

    Some may say GLAAD is going overkill but the gay community does not have our own Rev. Al Sharpton or a Jesse Jackson stand-in to march on these anti-gay zealots and tell them to shut the F* up and show some respect. I’m happy that GLAAD is at least doing something about this. No one else gives a shiite.

  19. Mike says

    Well Jon, you continue to “be amazed”, all you want. Robertson’s vile words to the ‘good old boys’ that droolingly were imparted to his I.Q. challenged listeners are nothing less then the actual impetus for HATE CRIMES to his knuckle dragging sharpshooters followers!

    Anyone with a scintilla of knowledge and humanity in them can easily see that. So who is dumb now you bloody cretin? For this Christmas treat yourself to a bible that you can read (And EVEN understand!) Who knows maybe you can find one with a camo cover . . .

  20. johnny says

    1. I don’t recall seeing many people (or more than 2 for that matter) calling for Robertson’s ouster in the comments on T-road.

    2. Free speech is wonderful, but one has to prepare to reap the consequences of that speech.

    3. A&E’s brilliant decision to delete him was their own, gays didn’t mass up and call for it as a group or did I miss some amazingly quick organization on our part?

  21. Cecilfirefox says

    I think this post excludes his racist remarks, which I found blatantly more offensive than the anti-gay ones. The anti-gay ones are just grounded in the same ignorance as always.

    A&E, frankly, wasn’t wrong to have removed him. His name is attached to them, he doesn’t get the same expression of free speech if he wants that job.

  22. says

    Stop with the placating and pleading to bend over backwards to show ‘tolerance’ of bigotry and discrimination.

    A&E knows that young lives are affected by Robertson’s ignorant ‘personal beliefs’ which he chose to express very publicly. There’s a price to pay for ‘free speech’ when you used it to harm others. Not one person that was an LGBT equality ally was won over to hate by A&E reprimanding Robertson.

    His heteronormative, faux-christian, white trash privilege led him to make ridiculously ignorant statements which not just the LGBT community but most of society see as demeaning.
    Blacks were perfectly happy hoeing cotton before civil rights, don’tcha know. White privilege.
    He just can’t understand why any man wouldn’t crave vaginas. Heteronormative privilege.
    And he can quote you all the anti-gay hate from the book that saved his life and it could save yours too! Faux-christian privilege.

    This man personifies most of the social ills in America today. Ignorance, racism, & bigotry championed by zealots & fundamentalists as a right of personal conscience.

  23. UGH says

    @JON I’m surprised you have the time to pipe in and share your “expertise” with us on this topic since your other hobby of following “gay and lesbian philanthropy closely” takes up so much of your time these days. You recently made the claim that Richard Simmons makes no donations to gay causes. I asked you to a) prove it and b) post proof of all of the donations YOU have made to LGBT causes. You suddenly got very quiet. Now here you are making another claim that GLAAD and HRC called for the firing of Phil and the cancellation of the show.

    Again, if you don’t know, you really need to shut up.

  24. NotSafeForWork says

    For the record, here is what he has to say about racism in the South. I think he watched “Song of the South” one too many times.

    “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. 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!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

  25. Kethan says

    Wow! I mean, he’s a country hick – one of the swamp people, and he’s probably never met a gay person in his life (that he knows about). Of course he feels that way!
    It’s ridiculous of A&E to put him on hiatus over this. He’s a popular guy and has made them a lot of money. You would think they would be more loyal to their own show. I don’t see any need to get every person who expresses an opinion I don’t like off the air. I try to keep from personally supporting them financially, but other than that they have the right to their beliefs just as much as I do. Mike, the ‘good old boys’ that are his friends and followers already didn’t like gay people. Nothing he said was new to them. They all go to the same churches.

  26. NotSafeForWork says

    @Kethan

    They actually had a gay person the show. The photographer who did the pet portraits with Phil and Kay was gay. Phil’s uncomfortable reaction and snarky comments weren’t edited out.

  27. Francis says

    Robertson wasn’t fired and filming for Season 5 of Duck Dynasty has almost completely wrapped up anyway. So he’ll still be on air. A&E should suspend the show entirely if they really want to take a stand, but that will not happen. It will be interesting to see where things turn from here. For the few of you crying freedom of speech, it doesn’t mean what you think it does. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences of said speech.

  28. Francis says

    Robertson is a racist, but no-one is talking about nor defending that because racism is seen as wrong by pretty much all but the most depraved and ignorant, whereas homophobia is still seen as an acceptable form of bigotry to many, even with many gay people.

  29. Jon says

    @ UGH – I have no idea what you are talking about with Richard Simmons. My guess is you had a conversation with a different “Jon” on here. It’s a common name in the United States. For that matter, I rarely post comments on Towleroad. Sorry to disappoint you after you thought you had me all figured out.

  30. Just_a_guy says

    I admit I don’t think I had much hope that someone would stand up against this particular white religious southerner who effectively bullied gays. But a & e did stand up; it’s a better world because of it.

  31. MaryM says

    Good.

    But Wilson Cruz’s comments irritate me – discrimination IS a christian value.

    Religion is based on the belief that people who are not part of your crazy cult are lesser.

  32. MIke says

    As has been stated:

    The next season premiers in January and the entire season has already been filmed and they’re not likely to put a black bar over this guy’s face. They (HE) will be more popular than ever.

  33. Teresa says

    I am guessing that Scott and Jon are not actually gay. But for the sake of argument let’s pretend they are. So Scott and Jon, it is 2013. The time for talk is over. Anyone who doesn’t “get it” by now doesn’t want to “get it”. So you go up and over and around them. You make them pay for their misbehavior as a warning to others and you move on to other people who are worth your time and money.

  34. Dearcomrade says

    Ha, ha, ha. Maybe he can get together with Paula Dean and they can commiserate with each other over how the country is going to hell in a hand basket. Quack, Quack.

  35. Dearcomrade says

    There are four burdens, which gays, along with every other despised group, whether it’s blacks follow slavery and reconstruction, or Jews fearful of Germany, must address.

    The first is recognize one must overcome fear.

    The second is overcoming self-hate.

    The third is overcoming self-denial.

    The fourth is more political. It is to recognize that the job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us.

    Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest anti-gay sentiment.

    Bayard Rustin
    From Montgomery To Stonewall 1986

  36. Karl says

    A&E should have invited Phil to meet with Gladd. They had a real opportunity here to educate him and it would have been a lot more effective than punishing him for not knowing the truth about gays and lesbians. If he has no basis of knowledge, how can we as a community damn him for not knowing who we are?

  37. says

    Nice quote @DearComrade.

    First of all let’s get one thing straight. “The Gays” didn’t fire this guy or put him on hiatus, A&E did.

    The 1st Amendment says that GOVERNMENT can’t limit your speech. That doesn’t mean that your employer has to put up with your views, especially if they feel you are ruining their “Brand.” Don’t believe me? Then by all means go into work today and tell your boss what a tool he/she is or go on a racist, homophobic, or sexual rant and see if you’re still employed at the end of the day. The Constitution says fvck-all about an employer having to put up with your sh!t.

    He DOES have Free Speech, but here’s the rub. SO DO THE PEOPLE WHO WERE OFFENDED BY HIS REMARKS. You have Free Speech but absolutely nowhere does it say you’re free from the CONSEQUENCES of that speech.

    I’m sure that plenty of people DID write or call A&E to call for his firing. So what? The Religious Right exploded in outrage when JC Penney hired Ellen Degeneres, demanding that they fire her. They threaten and boycott ALL THE TIME. It’s only when WE do it that it suddenly becomes a 1st Amendment issue.

    Now, all that said, I’m not sure that A&E firing him (or whatever they did) was the best course of action. Not because of any Free Speech issue or any “self-hate” problems of my own but because all this will do is make him a martyr to the religious nutballs out there. Now there will be news stories with every dullard with a room temperature IQ being interviewed to spew their own Bible-based hatred in his defense. There will be MORE hate-speech as a result of this, not less. Fox News will ride this like a hobby-horse- in fact they already ARE.

  38. UGH says

    Sure JON, sure.

    Back to the topic on hand. I don’t think A&E should fire him. It makes us look vindictive and it makes him a martyr to the religous whackos and his homophobe supporters. Should he actually spend some time with and actually get educated about gay people? Yes, and the Duck Dynasty cameras should tag along. It would be a learning experience for him and also a teaching moment for some of the homophobes who watch the show. That would be more productive. I also don’t think, as Karl suggested, he needs to meet with GLAAD. I’m tired of celebrities who say anti-gay things having to make that pilgrimage to GLAAD as if they are the gay vatican and kiss their rings like they are the sole arbitor of everything gay. You don’t have to apologize to GLAAD and all is forgiven. Apologize to gay people.

    Btw there was a story about Bob Newhart performing at the anti-gay Legatus conference. He has cancelled that show. I think he or his booker may not have known what this organization was all about. Good for him.

  39. ThomT says

    The extremist have now been handed yet another tool for which to blame gay people. A&E should have allowed this fool to continue on his program while acknowledging that his personal beliefs were just that “personal”. Personally I think that, possibly with the best of intentions, A&E grossly overreacted. Many people who actually had no negative opinion of gay people continue to hear how we’re all bullies who cannot tolerate anyone who disagrees with us and this often time turns public opinion against us. I’m not a fan of “Duck Dynasty” but am pretty sure I know their target audience and banning Phil from the show is simply going to inflame them. Sorry but I find removing him from the show a poor decision on the part of A&E.

  40. david from Edmonton says

    The suspension is ridiculous. I’m not a fan of the opinion but it is his and the suspension just rallies all the other crazies like those at Fox News and Sarah Palin to come to arms. There is A time to do this and a time to just feel sorry for the poor fellow who isn’t very intelligent or enlightened and move on.

  41. PopGoesTheWeasel says

    So the “Stonewall Riots”…got it.

    Guess what you are saying it those sick of the intolerant steam rolling attitudes in this country should riot and revolt to stop it. If I can’t get my way, I’ll boycott, I’ll throw things, I’ll fight, I’ll riot…okay want the other side to riot?

    Come on….is that really what we have come to? Can’t we have a discussion and disagree anymore?

  42. homogenius says

    Bigoted rednecks have the same First Amendment rights as all of us. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include the right to make bigoted public comments in violation of your employer’s standards and policies, and possibly your contract to star in a cable network reality series.

    Look at A&E’s point of view here (and that of its co-equal owners, Hearst and Disney/ABC). They have bigger concerns than Duck Dynasty–even if it’s the top-rated cable show. They know what its shelf life is and what the liabilities are for their other shows, channels, and businesses.

    Add to that whatever history they have with Robertson and you can begin to see what’s up. Yes, they cast these yahoos knowing full well that their “colorful” character and lifestyle was show-worthy for its bizarreness. But part of the reality biz is managing the “characters” behind the scenes. Robertson created a liability for his corporate masters. What remains to be seen is if they can rein him in and whether the suits see him more as an economic asset or liability in the longer term.

  43. Liam says

    I think it was more the racist things he said more than the gay stuff that tipped this over the edge for A&E. He said black people were happier before civil rights. That no one was singing the blues. Thats what sealed his fate. We are just getting the blame.

  44. April says

    I live in the South.. & Ive never wondered why black people did anything. Cause we are all equal. But to boot someone off a show for their beliefs.. is the same as saying Gay’s have no rights. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you are Christian you are raised by the Bible. Phil has a right to not agree with things cause he is a Christian, just as Gays have a right to stand up for what they believe in. But too boot a man off a show that you knew was a christian when you started is a JOKE on your part. & A&E You just screwed yourself.. You probably lost a lot of fans. & Since you are owned half by Disney, they probably screwed themselves too. Good Job! EVERY AMERICAN IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN BELIEF.. Don’t hold that against anyone!!

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