Phil Robertson, who starred in the hit reality series Duck Dynasty, claims his family and their TV series were persecuted by “cancel culture” for being Christians long before the term went mainstream. Now, he is hitting back and warning Americans.
Running for 11 seasons from 2012 to 2017, Duck Dynasty was one of the most successful reality TV series for A&E. The show gave viewers an inside look at the lives of the Louisiana natives and their business, Duck Commander. However, things went sideways for Duck Dynasty when Phil Robertson’s interview with GQ landed him in hot water.
According to Fox News, “It was 2013 when A&E suspended the Duck Dynasty patriarch for equating gay people with hell-bound sinners in a GQ interview. A firestorm resulted among his legions of defenders who felt the star was being censored by the network, which later reinstated him.”
Robertson wrote a book titled Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation. It explores how today’s cancel culture can be faced with your Christian faith. “The ones who attacked me, I didn’t hold it against them,” Robertson told Fox News Digital. “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.”
Robertson continued to explain his remarks. “I quoted what God had to say about that sin and nine other sins, but it was in the list of sins,” he said. “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.” According to GQ, Robertson was asked, “What, in your mind, is sinful?” Robertson replied, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
The outlet shared that Robertson also paraphrased 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, nor the swindlers – they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” The suspension earned immediate praise from gay rights groups, but conservative fans argued that their viewpoints were often overlooked by Hollywood and the media. More than one million people liked an impromptu Facebook page demanding the show be boycotted until Robertson returned.
“They put me on what they called an indefinite hiatus,” Robertson explained. “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,” Robertson shared. The Duck Dynasty patriarch also said he has no regrets about doing the GQ interview. “The Apostle Paul told Timothy that whoever lives a godly life in Christ will be persecuted,” he said. “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.”
Robertson reflected on today’s cancel culture, noting that “it’s gone too far.” He said it goes against the teachings of the Bible. “I hope that people would quit accusing each other,” he said. “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.”
Robertson went on to explain how many people have experienced cancel culture. “They find a mistake you made when you were 18 years old or something you said on the internet long ago,” he said. “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.”
As of 2022, Robertson and his wife Kay still reside in West Monroe, Louisiana. He has five children, 18 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. He keeps busy with a series titled In the Woods with Phil on BlazeTV. “We keep moving,” he said. “I just hope people come to their senses. I’m a voice crying out in the wilderness, but I was put here because God saved me. What you’re seeing on planet Earth is spiritual warfare… The grace of God, it’s a free gift. So boy, if you’re on the wrong side of this thing, you really ought to rethink it.”