Phil Robertson has been suspended indefinitely from A&E's Duck Dynasty amid the intense backlash over his recent anti-gay comments in GQ.
The family patriarch is famously outspoken and never affair to ruffle feathers (excuse the pun), but these remarks were particularly eyebrow-raising.
Many were offended, but others are attacking A&E, saying Phil Robertson's anti-gay comments are merely statements of his religious and personal beliefs.
Sarah Palin was one of many fans to take to social media in response, charging that the Duck Dynasty star's suspension is an attack on freedom of speech:
“Free speech is an endangered species. The ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also voiced support for his embattled constituent:
“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana."
"The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV."
"In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views."
"In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."
Many fans of the series took to Twitter to voice similar thoughts, but juts as social media users expressed relief that A&E took action against the star.
GLAAD praised A&E's decision to suspend Robertson indefinitely (though he may still appear in already recorded Duck Dynasty Season 5 episodes).
“What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz.
“By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value."
The slew of Twitter reactions made Phil Robertson a trending topic on Wednesday, as major uproar ensued following the release of his GQ interview:
At the same time, the pro-Phil hashtag #IStandWithPhil gained popularity.
Among other things, Robertson called homosexuality illogical and cited Bible scripture to compare homosexuality to bestiality, adultery and prostitution.
"It seems like, to me, a vagina - as a man - would be more desirable than a man's anus, that's just me," he said. "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."
Robertson, asked what kinds of behavior he considers sinful, added:
"Start with homosexual behavior and morph out from there ... bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
Before the suspension, Phil issued a statement in which he said:
"I myself am a product of the '60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior."
"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."
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