Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Gay slur Phil kicked off Duck show

Phil Robertson has been placed on an indefinite leave from filming hit reality show Duck Dynasty (AP, The News-Star/Margaret Croft)

Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson has been kicked off the TV show after condemning gays as sinners in a magazine interview.

The A&E channel said it was extremely disappointed to read Robertson's comments in GQ magazine.

His beliefs, A&E said, were personal and did not reflect the views of the channel or the show itself.

Robertson has been placed on an indefinite leave from filming the hit reality show, which follows a colourful Louisiana family that manufactures duck calls and has set cable ratings records for a non-fiction series.

In the interview in the January issue of GQ, Robertson put gays into the company of others who are sinners, including adulterers and swindlers.

AP

A&E announced what it called a "hiatus" for Robertson, 67, who also said in the interview that, growing up in Louisiana before the Civil Rights movement, he never saw mistreatment of blacks.

The channel's move was praised by gay civil rights group GLAAD, which had quickly condemned Robertson's comments.

"What's clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike," said spokesman Wilson Cruz. Robertson's removal "has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value", he added.

In his GQ interview, Robertson was asked his definition of sinful behaviour. "Start with homosexual behaviour and just morph out from there," such as bestiality, he said.

"Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."

Robertson and his family had no comment. He may be in some already taped scenes when the show returns on January 15 for its fifth season, a network spokesman said.

Robertson did respond after initial criticism of his GQ remarks, saying: "I myself am a product of the 60s" who indulged in sex and drugs until hitting bottom and accepting Jesus as his saviour.

Although his mission is to teach people that men and women are meant to be together, Robertson said he "would never treat anyone with disrespect" because they are different.

In the interview, he also said that in his Louisiana youth he picked cotton with African-Americans and never saw "the mistreatment of any black person. Not once".

"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!" Robertson said.

A&E said it had received no complaints about those remarks.

AP

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