PETA challenges all cast members of the reality series to 'deny that they are as anti-gay as they are anti-animal,' while fans launch an online petition to bring Robertson back to the show.
Having condemned "Duck Dynasty" for popularizing hunting, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) bashes the show again now that it lands in hot water due to Phil Robertson's anti-gay comments. The organization has weighed in on the latest controversy, calling for A&E to cancel the reality series.
"PETA wants A&E to do more than suspend one of the characters on 'Duck Dynasty' for damning gays," PETA says in a statement. "We call on the channel to challenge the entire crew of duck slayers to ignore Sarah Palin's self-serving slap on the back for spewing hate speech and deny that they are as anti-gay as they are anti-animal."
"All people who consider themselves followers of Christ should follow all His teachings-and that includes showing mercy, compassion, and kindness to all of God's creation, human and nonhuman alike. What's 'sinful' is hating people and animals. PETA asks everyone who consider themselves to be Christian to reject hate speech and call for this show's cancellation."
A&E announced on December 18 that it suspended Robertson from filming the reality series for an indefinite time due to his controversial gay statement in GQ. The network said, "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series 'Duck Dynasty'."
"His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."
Fans, however, think A&E took the wrong action. A "Faith Driven Consumer" has launched an IStandWithPhil.com petition demanding the network to reinstate Robertson immediately, calling the network's treatment to the reality TV star "intolerant, discriminatory, and punitive."
"Mr. Robertson's comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family - a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today's world as a whole," the petition organizer, John Q. Public, states.
He adds, "Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility," demanding that his "views be treated with equality and respect in America's rich rainbow of diversity."
Almost 80,000 people have signed the petition as of press time.
Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have also spoken up about the issue. Showing their support for Robertson, they think that everyone is entitled to have opinion. "Free speech is an endangered species. Those 'intolerants' hatin' and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us," former Alaskan Governor Palin wrote on Facebook.
Jindal, meanwhile, said in a statement, "Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don't agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV."
"In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment." He went on comparing people's treatment to Miley Cyrus and to Robertson, saying, "It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."