Phil Robertson is speaking about how he dealt with cancel culture long before the phrase became popular. In a GQ interview in 2013, A&E suspended the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch for associating gay people with hell-bound sinners. His legions of defenders erupted in a ruckus, believing the celebrity was being restricted by the network, which later reinstated him.
In a new book titled “Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation,” the 75-year-old reflects on the hostility he and his family faced. It looks at how one’s Christian faith might be challenged by today’s modern society.
“The ones who attacked me, I didn’t hold it against them,” Robertson stated to Fox News. “They asked me a question about a particular sin, homosexual behavior. And they asked if I believed it was a sin. I thought to myself, that’s a weird question to ask someone, but I just quoted a Bible verse… I quoted what God had to say about that sin and nine other sins, but it was in the list of sins… As we were doing ‘Duck Dynasty,’ the upper crowd at A&E decided to drop the ax on me without first looking into what went down.”
Phil Robertson was asked, “What, in your mind, is sinful?” he replied, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that women and those men.” Phil also referenced Corinthians from the Bible, “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.”
Gay rights organizations applauded the suspension right away. Conservative supporters claimed that Hollywood and the media frequently ignored their views. More than 500,000 people liked an improvised Facebook page calling for a boycott of the show until Robertson returned.
Phil Robertson said, “They put me on what they called an indefinite hiatus. I said, ‘I think I may be getting fired, right?’ Hiatus says you’re not part of the program anymore. After nine days they reinstated me, but we had all kinds of sponsors that just took off. They had made a mockery of what I said. All I did was quote a Bible verse. And as a result, they tried to cancel me. But it didn’t cancel me at all. I still love them. I don’t hate anyone. The Bible teaches us to love thy neighbor even with their mistakes,” he stated.
In 2012, Robertson and his extended family were transformed into TV and pop culture celebrities. “Duck Dynasty” broke cable ratings records for a reality show.
Season 5 of “Duck Dynasty” experienced a large viewership dropout when Robertson ruffled feathers, according to The New York Times. After 11 seasons, the sitcom was officially canceled in 2017. Robertson stated that he has zero regrets about speaking with GQ.
“No regrets at all, none,” he stated. “I just went on. I never called A&E and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I never said a word when they came to visit me about 10 days after this all went down. I said, ‘Guys, did y’all ever hear from me with some kind of irate phone call? ‘Cause you were firing me?’ They said, ‘Mr. Robertson, you never said a word.’ I quoted a Bible verse that dealt with homosexual behavior. I just quoted the Bible verse that God had written through Paul the Apostle by the power of the Holy Spirit, I didn’t dream it off the top of my head. It didn’t go any further than that.”
Faith has always been a consistent presence in Robertson’s life, he added, in both good and bad times.
“The Apostle Paul told Timothy that whoever lives a godly life in Christ will be persecuted,” he stated. “So we take persecution as a badge of honor. It doesn’t bother us at all. We just take it in and say, ‘I don’t hold anyone against it.’ Instead, we focus on telling others about Jesus and keep moving.”
“It’s gone too far,” Robertson said of today’s cancellation culture. He claims it contradicts biblical teachings.
Robertson said, “I hope that people would quit accusing each other. We’re all guilty of sin. We all make mistakes. Therefore, you have no excuse to pass judgment on someone else. That’s what people do. They find a mistake you made when you were 18 years old or something you said on the internet long ago. Then they go after you with a vengeance. You’re condemning yourself by passing judgment on others. Do you think you’ll escape God’s judgment? In a culture of accusations, shame and condemnation, I’m just trying to speak out about the word of God. Just forgive each other and move on for crying out loud.”
A&E has destroyed two of its most successful shows. Not only did they kill Duck Dynasty they killed their other golden goose in 2020 when they bowed to the woke mob.
Live PD was the most-watched cable show in the country and the network went all-in with spin-offs making them one of the top networks in the world. When the George Floyd riots happened the network abruptly bowed to the woke mob and canceled the show. The network was also in a legal controversy over a police-involved shooting.
As a result, the network lost 80% of its viewers and has never recovered.