updated 8:40 p.m.
Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson is a man of many words. And some of those words – quite a few, actually – have landed the reality TV icon in hot water after GQ magazine published a profile of the family featured on the show. A&E reacted to the criticism Wednesday evening by suspending him from the show.
“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 said in a statement. Robertson, said the statement, is “under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
The GQ interview was inflammatory. Let’s start with Robertson’s comments on homosexuality. “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine…Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” Robertson told the magazine.
Then there’s Robertson’s graphic examination of human sexuality:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
He later included Nazis and Islamists in his list of reasons the world is suffering. Robertson, a devout Christian, said he saw Duck Dynasty as one of the answers to society’s immorality.
GLAAD jumped on Robertson’s comments Wednesday. ”Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” spokesman Wilson Cruz said in a statement provided to msnbc. ”He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
Earlier in the day, A&E released a statement from Robertson that attempted to clarify 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.”
Robertson and his family have enjoyed massive success since Duck Dynasty premiered on A&E in 2012. The show’s fourth season premiere in August was the most-watched program in cable television history, according to Entertainment Weekly, and the show has been praised for being a “cultural phenomenon” that presents “wholesome, family-friendly” entertainment.
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