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'Duck Dynasty' clan "cannot imagine" doing show without Phil Robertson, suggest they could quit


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/20/2013 

Duck Dynasty's Robertson clan says they can't envision continuing the smash-hit reality series without Phil Robertson -- suggesting the show might end unless A&E lifts its suspension of the family patriarch.

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"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," the Robertson family said in an official statement on their website.

"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."

A&E suspended Phil, a 67-year-old bearded reality TV star and devout Christian, indefinitely from Duck Dynasty due to offensive anti-gay comments he had made in a recent interview with GQ magazine. The network claimed to be "extremely disappointed" to have read about his personal views, which "in no way reflect those of A&E Networks."

"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," added the Robertson family.

"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."

Phil had told GQ he feels what's right and wrong has become blurred in society and homosexuality is on the same level as terrorism, alcoholism and bestiality. He said he "never, ever" passes judgement on such people but God will eventually sort out the "homosexuals, drunks and terrorists."

In response to his suspension, Phil had told People: "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."

Duck Dynasty will return to A&E with new episodes in January. Robertson will reportedly appear in the upcoming episodes but will not be able to film any new episodes for an unspecified amount of time.

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