Phil Robertson's Family "Cannot Imagine" Doing Duck Dynasty Without Him

Entertainment Dec. 20, 2013 AT 8:40AM
Phil, Si, Jase and Willie Robertson from A&E's Duck Dynasty In the wake of Phil Robertson's controversial GQ interview, his family says they "cannot imagine" doing Duck Dynasty without him Credit: Zach Dilgard/A+E

The show may or may not go on. In the wake of Phil Robertson's controversial GQ interview and subsequent suspension from A&E's smash Duck Dynasty, his family is rallying around him and rethinking their lives as reality TV stars.

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In a statement posted to their Duck Commander website on Thursday, Dec. 19, the Robertson family said they stand behind Phil and "cannot imagine" going forward with the show without him. (The Duck Dynasty patriarch has been placed on hiatus from filming "indefinitely," the network told Us Weekly.)

"We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support," the family's statement read. "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."

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It went on to address Phil's offending remarks: "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."

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As previously reported, Phil incited controversy on Wednesday, Dec. 18, when he made several homophobic and racist remarks in an interview with GQ. Among other things, he suggested that homosexuality was a gateway to bestiality and said he'd never seen a black person mistreated.

"We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right," the family added. "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."

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