The firestorm continues as people from both side of the aisle debate the merits of A&E’s decision to place Phil Robertson, of the hit show Duck Dynasty, on an indefinite hiatus because of comments he made about homosexuality in an interview with GQ.
The family has since issued a formal response to the networks decision via their Duck Commander website:
We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.
In the aftermath of A&E's announcement, social media and the internet more generally have been overrun with hashtags and comments from people are standing with Robertson and his right to share his opinions, while pundits and public figures debate the issue.
Robertson’s indefinite suspension from the hit series has sparked public outrage and support for the family patriarch, with public figures like Sarah Palin and Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal standing firmly behind them.
And as we’ve noted, social media has been ablaze with comments supporting Robertson as well, as many Twitter users have included the #IStandWithPhil hashtag along with their messages.
Yesterday, Glenn leant his support to Robertson, explaining that he may agree with the comments made but he unfailingly supports his right to speak his mind. Glenn proceeded to offer the entire Robertson family a home on TheBlaze should they need it:
And if you take a stand and they fire you, TheBlaze will… be on the phone… We’d like you at TheBlaze. We’re not ashamed. We won’t fold. We have people of diverse opinion here. There are people here that are godly and atheist. There are people here that are liberal and very conservative. There are straight people. There are gay people. There are white people. There are black people. They all have an opinion, and they’re all welcome at TheBlaze. Duck Dynasty, we would be proud to have you.
TheBlaze’s Laurie Dhue joined Pat and Stu on radio this morning to discuss the Robertson’s statement and the future of the show: