While many commend cable network A&E for suspending Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty following his controversial remarks, there are also thousands of fans who are in full support of the reality star. As a result, a petition has been launched to help get the Robertson family patriarch back on the show. The petition, dubbed "End the Wrongful Suspension of Phil Robertson," will be delivered to A&E with a statement that reads: "When being interviewed by GQ magazine, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson talked about his views on a whole host of issues, including homosexuality. We call on A&E, activist liberals and politically correct (PC) police to stand down and be tolerant of Mr. Robertson’s religious beliefs, which are grounded in the Bible."
The Duck Dynasty clan is standing behind family patriarch Phil Robertson, which could put the hit A&E show in jeopardy. "We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right,” read a statement from the family. “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. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.”
By now everyone knows that Phil Robertson was suspended indefinitely from Duck Dynasty for his anti-gay comments in GQ, but apparently he said some equally shocking things about racism in the same interview. Asked if he ever witnessed bigotry while growing up in the pre-Civil Rights south, the 67-year-old said, “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field.... They're singing and happy." He added, “I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people'—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal defended Phil Robertson yesterday, saying, “I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended." He then added, “The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with." Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin also chimed in, tweeting, “Free speech is endangered species; those “intolerants” hatin’ & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all.” And apparently 35,000 people agree, because that’s how many have signed a Change.org petition demanding A&E end Robertson’s suspension. In addition, an organization that connects Christian consumers with faith-based companies has launched the IStandWithPhil.com petition, demanding the star’s reinstatement on Duck Dynasty.