The Robertson family released a statement a little while ago [Thursday night] with regards to Phil Robertson's suspension from "Duck Dynasty" -- and it appears ominous, at least for fans of the show. Yes, the statement decries the "coarse" language used by Robertson in the "GQ" interview, but the statement also indicates that the family is thinking about the future -- a future without "Duck Dynasty."
(As I mentioned in an earlier post, this "suspension" is utterly unworkable -- a bad idea made in haste by A&E and made reflexively. There is no conceivable way to suspend the star of his own "reality" show ... especially this reality show. Now, it appears as though the family is grappling with the same obvious issue. A&E simply should have distanced itself from his language with a statement along the lines of "we certainly don't condone what Phil said and in fact find it repugnant, but he does not represent the views of the network or our partners, and we in fact cannot control what he says in independent interviews which are unrelated to the show and A&E" ... or something along those lines.
Meanwhile, back to the statement. This could all be a lot of hot air too: Don't forget, the Robertsons went to the mat to get very significant raises last season. They are getting paid a fortune to do this show. My suspicion is that cooler heads may prevail, when the heat dies down. But who knows ...
The family statement:
We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil's unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. 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.