The Duck Dynasty cast released a statement in support of suspended star Phil Robertson, implying that they can't go forward with the show without him.
“We are in discussions with A&E to see what [this] means for the future of Duck Dynasty,” the family statement said of Phil Robertson's suspension.
“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.”
The family defended Robertson’s comments and stressed that they 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,” the family said.
“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.”
The Robertson family said it has “spent much time in prayer” since learning A&E had suspended Phil over anti-gay comments he made in GQ.
The family also criticized A&E for its actions, saying he was placed on hiatus “for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.”
Indeed, he sparked a national debate on religion and tolerance in an interview in which the reporter asked him what he considered to be sinful behavior.
The 67-year-old Robertson, who fans of the show know is very religious, said: