A&E has suspended "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson following anti-gay comments he made in a recent GQ profile, according to a report by Entertainment Weekly.
In an interview with GQ's Drew Magary, the head of the family in the wildly popular A&E series expressed his view that homosexuality was immoral, likening it to bestiality. Some of the remarks were made using off-color language.
On Wednesday evening, A&E released this statement to Entertainment Weekly:
“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."
Entertainment Weekly added that the rest of the family starring in "Duck Dynasty" will remain on the program.
Earlier on Wednesday, a representative from A&E submitted a statement to The Huffington Post from Phil Robertson in response to the controversy:
“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.”
Following the news of Robertson's suspension, a tweet from the account of former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin defended the "Duck Dynasty" star:
Free speech is endangered species; those "intolerants" hatin' & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) December 19, 2013