After A&E suspended Phil from ‘Duck Dynasty’ on Dec. 18 for the hateful, anti-gay comments he made to ‘GQ’ magazine, a new report claims that the network’s decision was more personal than you’d think.
Though it has caused a shocking backlash, everyone had to see A&E’s decision to indefinitely suspend Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty coming. However, what is surprising is that the network may have had more personal reasons to make the call that go way beyond just thinking about the bottom line.
Phil Robertson: Why A&E Suspended Him
A&E came down hard on Phil as a way to show their gay employees how much they respect them, according to TMZ. There was no way the network could let Phil’s comments go while also employing so many people from the groups that the Duck Dynasty star was railing against.
Some gay A&E employees even work solely on Duck Dynasty, and after Phil’s comments came out, they were demanding that A&E CEO Nancy Debuc 86 him. The organization GLAAD was reportedly also essential in lobbying for Phil’s suspension.
Nancy and A&E admittedly knew what they were getting when they made a reality show centered around Phil and his family, the source tells TMZ, but his comments to GQ just took things too far, and they had to make sure he was punished.
A&E has reportedly insisted that their decision to axe Phil was in no way “anti-Bible” — they just could not let him disrespect A&E and Duck Dynasty employees without any serious consequences. The network is clearly standing up for what is right, even though it hasn’t been easy — Nancy has reportedly received death threats since Phil’s suspension, TMZ reports.
A&E ‘Extremely Disappointed’ In Phil Robertson
After Phil essentially called all gays sinners and compared homosexuality to bestiality in his interview with GQ, A&E released a statement on Dec. 18 announcing his suspension, adding that they were “extremely disappointed.”
The statement in full read:
We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and 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 had employees to protect, and they couldn’t let one, albeit more high profile, employee disrespect so many others without doing anything about it. Do you agree with the decision (and the reasoning) to suspend Phil from Duck Dynasty, HollywoodLifers? Let us know!
— Andrew Gruttadaro