Robertson Family Issues Official Statement, Mid-Michigan LGBT Community Reacts
After Phil Robertson was "indefinitely suspended" from A&E's Duck Dynasty following comments he made in a GQ interview about his understanding of the Biblical perspective on homosexuality, among other 'vivid' remarks, the family has released an official statement:
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.
Agree or disagree with his statements or his tact, it seems the bigger issue opponents of A&E's decision have taken is specific to what many view as a punishment by the network for the star simply stating his personal opinions.
Prior to the release of the family's statement, Harvey Levin, founder of TMZ, went on a mini-Twitter tirade, admonishing A&E for their actions:
Meanwhile, the Robertsons' biggest corporate sponsor, Under Armour, has announced that it has no plans to sever its relationship with the family, saying:
“We are obviously aware of the situation; and his comments are not indicative of Under Armour’s views…We have no plans to change our current relationship.”
So what about closer to home? We've heard from several of our local LGBT friends and supporters' varying perspectives on the situation:
I'm a gay man and honestly could care less what people say about the community we are fighting to have freedoms we deserve with that being said we can't take others freedoms away cus we don't agree with what they say. The whole thing is out of control. People's words don't upset me nor do they upset any of the gays I know.
No one should really even be offended. I am part of the LGBT Community, and I dont really watch Duck Dynasty, but if you don't like the opinion amd views of the people, don't watch it! Its as simple as that. But at the same time.. if you were watching before you knew, what makes you change your mind now?
I think theres definitely something to be said for freedom of speech but there's also something to be said for being conscientious about what you say as a public figure. I dont think what he said is acceptable. Just because the gay community is less accepted at this point in history doesn't make what he said any more acceptable than someone expressing blatantly racist opinions in public. Ask yourself if you would be offended if a famous person said they didnt understand black people and thought it was a sin for them to marry white people? That would have been "legitimate" opinion of a lot of people even 20 Years ago. Still not ok.
As someone who advocates for any LGBT person, I feel like what he said wasn't bad. Those are his beliefs. Now, if it was hate filled, then yes, fry his ass... But it wasn't.
As a strong and vocal supporter of lgbtq rights... he stated his faith based belief. And there is nothing wrong with it. He hasn't actually said they need to go to hell and burn or anything like that. To each their own!
So A&E stands to lose its largest franchise if it doesn't reinstate Phil Robertson. What do you think should happen next?