The Robertson family is speaking out about the future of "Duck Dynasty" following patriarch Phil Robertson's indefinite suspension from the hit A&E series over comments he made about homosexuality, saying in an official statement that they cannot imagine the show moving forward without Phil at the helm.
In comments published on the Duck Commander website on Wednesday, the family thanked supporters and noted that they have "spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision."
Before specifically addressing Robertson's comments about homosexuality, the family affirmed their faith in God and belief in the Bible as God's word. The Robertsons then proceeded to defend the embattled patriarch.
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." (Credit: AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)
"While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible," the statement read. "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."
The Robertsons went on to say that the family is disappointed that Phil was placed on hiatus simply for expressing his faith -- something that he has a constitutionally protected right to do. Considering these developments, they noted that the future of the wildly popular "Duck Dynasty" show might be in jeopardy.
"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," the statement continued. "We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty."
The family concluded by again thanking supporters.
Robertson's indefinite suspension from the hit series has sparked public outrage and support for the family patriarch, with public figures like Sarah Palin and Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal standing firmly behind them.
And as we've noted, social media has been ablaze with comments supporting Robertson as well, as many Twitter users have included the #IStandWithPhil hashtag along with their messages.
You can see some of these tweets below [Note: This is an auto-populated list -- any tweets sent out wit the #IStandWithPhil hashtag will show up and TheBlaze has no control over content. Discretion is advised]:
Glenn Beck also joined in on the support, offering the entire Robertson family a place on his own network.
“[All the other networks] will fold to pressure,” he said. “They will all fold to sponsors. They will all fold to money because they are all in over their eyeballs are debt … the only reason why Phil was put on hiatus and not the rest is because it is a money-printing machine.”
Beck's offer also led to its own hashtag:
Read more about Beck's offer to the Robertsons here.