Phil Robertson, star of the hit A&E reality show "Duck Dynasty," is stirring controversy and has been slammed by GLAAD over what the gay rights group called "some of the vilest and most extreme" remarks made about homosexuality.
The 67-year-old bearded, camo-wearing Louisiana duck hunter, who dubs himself and his famous family "Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television," later said he would "never treat anyone with disrespect" just because they were different from him.
He made his original comments an interview published in GQ's January 2014 issue. He was asked what he considers to be "sinful."
"Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there," he told the magazine (warning: article contains explicit language). "Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
"We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell," he added. "That's the Almighty's job. We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus--whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later, you see what I'm saying?"
GLAAD issued a statement on Wednesday, Dec. 18, condemning Robertson's remarks.
"GQ Magazine's profile of Phil Robertson included some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication," the group said. "His quote was littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation."
"Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe," GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz added.
"He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans -- and Americans -- who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples," he said. "Phil's decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families."
Following the criticism over his printed comments, Robertson later issued a statement, obtained by OTRC.com.
"I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior," he said, according to USA Today. "My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together."
"However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me," he added. "We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."
"Duck Dynasty" is one of the most popular shows on television and a big success for cable channel A&E. The season 4 finale on Dec. 11 was watched by 8.8 million people and received a 3.5 rating among adults between ages 18 and 49, marking it the most-viewed TV show that night during its time slot among the key demographic. Robertson's family is on Barbara Walters' list of "10 Most Fascinating People" of 2013.