The "Duck Dynasty" scandal has hit an all-time high with the Robertson family refusing to move on with the show unless their patriarch, Phil Robertson, is included. USA Today reports Dec. 20 that A&E is in the midst of an uncertain future with the show if it goes down.
As reports have published all week, Phil Robertson, 67, has been suspended indefinitely from filming "Duck Dynasty" after he boldly made anti-gay statements that will be coming out in the January issue of GQ magazine. This has sparked all kinds of controversy about homosexuality, sin, and free speech.
The Robertsons thanked their fans for their support Thursday night on their corporate website, but let them know they are extremely disappointed about A&E's decision to put Phil on "indefinite" hiatus.
The Robertson's statement read this:
"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."
A reported 11.8 million viewers watched "Duck Dynasty" in season 4, which equates to a lot of money for A&E. The "Duck Dynasty" scandal poses a huge problem for the cable network that finds itself between a rock and a hard place. Even if they did not want to put Phil Robertson on hiatus, they would have had to give in to political and cultural pressures set by today's standards.
Season 5 of "Duck Dynasty" will premiere Jan. 15.