Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular reality show "Duck Dynasty" has been suspended over inflammatory remarks on the LGBT community, according to reports.
Robertson apparently called gays sinners, comparing them to swindlers and adulterers in an interview with GQ for its January edition. He went on to call them equivalent to terrorists and drunkards and said it was illogical to have such sinners around, according to Time magazine.
"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," Robertson said in the interview.
"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," he added.
A&E Network announced that it was very disappointed with Robertson's opinions and comments that clearly displayed homo-phobia. They added that his comments were completely personal and did not reflect the network or the show's opinions on the community.
"We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. 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 has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely," A&E said in a statement, reports Hollywood Reporter.
The network added that Robertson will however appear in some of the initial episodes of the fifth season of the hit series, slated to premiere January 15, 2014, reports LA Times.
Take a peek at the upcoming season below:
Robertson's comments have received a lot of heat from the community too. An LGBT activist group, GLAAD said in response to his comments:
"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. 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 re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families," Wilson Cruz, spokesperson for GLAAD said in a statement, reports Chicago Tribune.
Robertson released a statement to the network, claiming that he 'would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different' and that 'he loves humanity' and believes in God and love, reports Yahoo.
"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," Robertson said in the statement.