This 2012 photo released by A&E shows, from left, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson from the A&E series, “Duck Dynasty.” The A&E channel says “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson is off the show indefinitely after condemning gays as sinners in a magazine interview. In a statement Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, A&E said it was extremely disappointed to read Robertson’s comments in GQ magazine. (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When the A&E network suspended “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson for disparaging gay people, it may have followed a time-honored TV tradition of quickly silencing a star who, for better or worse, speaks his mind. But in doing so it also ruffled the feathers of possibly millions of fans of its most popular show.
Fourteen hours after it was learned that Robertson had been placed on indefinite “hiatus” for telling GQ magazine, among other things, that gays are headed to hell, more than a half-million people liked an impromptu Facebook page demanding the show be boycotted until he returns.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had her picture taken with Robertson just last month, complained that his free-speech rights were being trampled. Bobby Jindal, governor of the state of Louisiana, where the show is filmed, complained that Miley Cyrus got a pass for twerking on TV while Phil got shown the door.
T-shirts, of course, went on the market with the words “I Don’t Give a Duck About A or E, Bring Back Phil.”
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