(Photo: Reuters/Rick Wilking)
Willie Robertson, star of the A&E reality show "Duck Dynasty," recently spoke out about his father Phil Robertson's temporary suspension from the show, saying that although his father is crude, he is the "real deal."
Phil Robertson was temporarily suspended from appearing on the A&E reality show earlier this month after he told GQ Magazine that he believes homosexuality is a sin. After announcing it was indefinitely suspending Phil from the show due to his comments, the A&E network released a statement late last week saying it had reinstated Phil to the show after "discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups."
Willie Robertson, the CEO of the family's Duck Commander duck call business, tweeted on Friday a response to A&E's decision: "Back to work!! So proud of all the fans of the show and family. Ole Phil may be a little crude but his heart is good. He's the Real Deal!"
In his interview, featured in GQ Magazine's January issue, Phil Robertson said he believes that in the modern-day America, "everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong. Sin becomes fine."
"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." Robertson then went on to paraphrase a verse from Corinthians: "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."
Phil was also quick to clarify in the interview that although he believes homosexuality to be sinful, he does not judge others, rather choosing to leave the judgment up to God. In the interview, the Robertson family patriarch also made some graphic references to the male and female anatomy that many described as crude.
Phil's comments were met with criticism from activist groups such as GLAAD, but the show's patriarch also received a vast amount of support from religious leaders, political leaders, viewers of the show and his own family. The Robertson family released a joint statement, saying, "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. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of 'Duck Dynasty.'"
The family also released a statement to Fox News this past Saturday saying they were "excited to keep making a quality TV show for our dedicated fans, who have showed us wonderful support. We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through 'Duck Dynasty' and our many projects that we are currently working on."
"The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly," they added.
The A&E reality series "Duck Dynasty," which follows the life and duck call business of the evangelical Robertson family in West Monroe, La., will resume airing on Jan. 15, and Phil will rejoin the cast when they begin shooting their next season in spring 2014.