Update, 9:25 p.m. EST: The Associated Press reported that Robertson has been placed on “indefinite hiatus” from the show.
Phil Robertson, patriarch of A&E hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty, became a “hero” to anti-LGBT conservatives and a villain to equal rights activists on Wednesday with remarks equating homosexuality to bestiality.
In an interview published by GQ, Robertson shocked columnist Drew Magary with his thoughts on gay sex.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” the reality star said. “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, who is a devout Christian, went on to explain his definition of sin: “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… Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
In a statement on Wednesday, GLAAD condemned Robertson’s 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,” the statement said. “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.”
But for some, the “Duck Commander” company founder had become a champion of Christian values for expressing his beliefs.
“Phil Robertson is a new American hero. He said exactly what the great majority of Americans believe,” the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer wrote on Twitter. “Phil Robertson is right. It’s a simple matter of plumbing. Easy to figure out what is supposed to go where. And where not.”
Robertson attempted to explain his remarks in a statement on Wednesday by saying that he was 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,” Robertson said. “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.”
Listen to the audio below from AFR’s Focal Point, broadcast Dec. 18, 2013.