This has been quite a week for the Robertson clan of "Duck Dynasty" fame. Controversy erupted after family patriarch Phil Robertson remarked on his biblical stance on homosexuality. The outcry by some led to Robertson being suspended indefinitely from the hit show. The family released statement on Thursday, Dec. 19 which seemed to imply that they were exploring their options about the shows future:
"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." ~ Robertson family
"Duck Dynasty" airs on A&E and is its highest rated realityTV show. It follows the lives of the Robertson family, who became rich thanks to the commercial success of Robertson’s Duck Commander duck caller and other hunting accessories. On Wednesday, Phil Robertson was been suspended indefinitely following comments on homosexuality. Robertson released the following statements about his comments:
“My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. "However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
The debate continues about Robertson's comments, the future of the show and A&E's response. Thus far, more than 1.4 million people are supporting a boycott of A&E following the suspension of Phil Robertson. A total of 8.9 viewers enjoyed The Robertson Family last week during A&E’s one-hour "Duck Dynasty Christmas Special"
Supporters have indicated they "like" the “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck Dynasty” Facebook page.
The immensely popular “Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings giant for A&E, and averages 11-12 million viewers an episode. The next season of “Duck Dynasty” season begins airing Jan. 15. According to the network, Phil Robertson will be seen in episodes filmed before this week's controversy.