Phil Robertson, familial patriarch and star of A&E’s astoundingly successful, record-breaking and crazy-popular reality television series, Duck Dynasty has been indefinitely suspended from the program following a day of controversy. Robertson’s future on the series was put into question following an interview in GQ Magazine with Drew Magary, wherein the outspoken owner of the most popular duck call-makers denounced homosexuality in a very brusque and graphic manner — pissing quite a few people off in the process. (Turn away now if you’re not a fan of the anatomically correct names of human genitalia.)
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” explained Robertson.
Robertson went on to further condemn “homosexual behavior” alongside “bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” as illogical, sinful behavior that must be fought by the word of Jesus. He also downplayed and dismissed the plight of the African American in pre-Civil Rights Era America as a time where they were “happy” and “godly,” with “no one singing the blues,” in addition to blaming the lack of Jesus Christ as a reason the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and why the Nazis were so terrible.
The family patriarch’s outspoken support of his own religion is nary a cause for concern or suspension — it’s a largely unspoken part of the series that’s never all that far from view, and something many of Duck Dynasty appreciate. But the series gets away with the light touch of religious ideology because of its, as TIME’s James Poniewozik intelligently observed, conversion from subtext to actual text. Because “as text rather than subtext, the stuff Phil thinks and says creates an irreconcilable problem.”
Mainly one that offends people who just want to watch a show without feeling like they’re supporting a man who’s outspoken in his dislike for gay people. Which creates a problem with them, gay or otherwise. And then by addressing the issue, the network in turn offends people who do believe what Robertson believes, and feel that they’re attacking the star just for having beliefs. Pretty much a no-win situation for everyone, huh?
It’s hard to say what the future has in store for Robertson’s fate on his own show — though judging by the popularity of the series and A&E’s response to basically do nothing, probably not much will change — but for now, his duck call has been silenced.