LOS ANGELES — The day after “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson was suspended from the hit A&E reality series, fans and nonfans of the series took to social media to either express their outrage at A&E for removing Robertson from the show or for airing the show in the first place.
Robertson was put on an indefinite filming hiatus after the publication of an interview in the January issue of GQ magazine in which he made controversial remarks about gay people and civil rights that drew heat from GLAAD, among others.
Whether they were fans of the show or not, many conservative Christians took great offense that Robertson was removed from the show for expressing his beliefs.
Self-described independent Baptist and Reagan conservative Pam Besteder wrote, “Whenever culture disagrees with the Word of God — CULTURE is wrong — not God. God is ALWAYS RIGHT!”
Jake Smith, a volleyball champion from Lawton, Okla., wrote, “Phil Robertson is the man! Finally someone with a voice spoke some truth. If your persecuted, then you are blessed.”
Clay Guerry of Myrtle Beach, S.C., seems to think Robertson’s thoughts were par for the course, writing, “If you watch a show about rednecks being rednecks, eventually they will say something a bigot would say.”
Kyle Collins, a college student from Akron, Ohio, took a more down-the-middle stance, writing, “Don’t necessarily agree with #PhilRobertson comments. But I still love #DuckDynasty. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”
New York Times political reporter Nick Confessore took note that all the discussion of Robertson’s thoughts on gay people was overshadowing his positive remembrance of the Jim Crow south. “Phil Robertson lucked out: The furor over his comments on gays is overshadowing his comments on black people.”
Never one to shy away from controversy, CNN host Piers Morgan tweeted, “Phil Robertson is not a ‘victim of political correctness’. He’s a victim of his own repulsively racist, homophobic bigotry.”
YouTube videomaker Pia Glenn wrote, “You Fundamentalist Christians spewing hate make me so sad, but I still pray for you every Sunday at church with my gay priest.”
While the hashtag #StandWithPhil became a thing, the “Duck Dynasty” stars also found support in the form of an offer from Glenn Beck to bring their show to his own network, the Blaze.
“We would be proud to have you,” Beck said Thursday on his online TV network.
Several online petitions have been started to show support for the “Duck Dynasty” star, including one on Change.org that has amassed more than 50,000 signatures and a website IStandWithPhil.com, which had gathered more than 22,000 signatures.
The new season of “Duck Dynasty,” the top-rated nonfiction show in cable history, will premiere Jan. 15. Robertson will appear in a few of the new episodes since they were already finished at the time of his suspension.