Family members say they are considering withdrawing from the hit reality series over A&E's suspension of patriarch Phil Robertson after controversial comments about gays and blacks during an interview with GQ magazine.
"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," said the statement, which was released on the Robertsons' "Duck Commander" website. "We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of 'Duck Dynasty.'"
The statement said the Robertsons have "spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.
"While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. 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. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.... Again, thank you for your continued support of our family."