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One Year after Phil Robertson Controversy, 'Duck Dynasty' Producer Regrets Not Speaking Up

( [email protected] ) Dec 30, 2014 03:23 PM EST
The executive producer of the hit A&E show recently opened up about the 2013 controversy surrounding Phil Robertson, and why she wishes she had spoken up.
Phil Roberson, also known as the ''Duck Commander,'' is the patriarch of the ''Duck Dynasty'' clan. Photo: A&E

One year ago, "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson was embroiled in a controversy resulting from an interview with GQ Magazine in which he denounced homosexuality as an "abomination" and a "sin."

At the time, Robertson received significant backlash for his Biblical views, including a brief suspension from the A&E series. The network eventually reversed its decision after the rest of the "Duck" stated that they, too, would leave the series if Phil was permanently suspended or let go

Recently, "Duck Dynasty" executive producer Deirdre Gurney opened up about the 2013 controversy, revealing that she wanted to speak out about the situation but knew she had to trust Robertson to handle the situation.

"I don't think anyone expected it to be that kind of reaction and get that much attention, so no one was prepared with what this really meant, what to say," Gurney told the Hollywood Reporter.

"I wanted to be able to speak and explain, but we couldn't," Gurney said. "We know our talent. I know Phil Robertson. I know his beliefs. I know how he treats a crew that has several gay people on it and people of different races and people from all different places. He has beliefs and stands by them. But that isn't how he treats people - it is what he thinks. I think there's a separation between what he thinks and how he thinks people should be treated. I don't think he was saying anything about how people should be treated."

Robertson's son, Jase, spoke about the GQ interview in July, stating that the reporter cornered Phil with questions that were "hypothetical, argumentative, and controversial."

Jase's brother, Willie, added that his father simply told the interviewer "what was on his heart" and clarified that the family has said "over and over and over that we love everybody.

Since then, Robertson has continued to speak his mind on controversial issues regardless of criticism. A former pastor, he has stated that he's led by God and is called to speak truth to people.

The Robertson patriarch's Biblical values have clearly been passed down to younger generations, as seen by the actions of his grandchildren.

Willie and Korie's daughter, Sadie, received her fair share of publicity in 2014 following her success on the reality competition series 'Dancing with the Stars.'  The 17 year old model was commended not only for her impressive dance moves, but her dedication to purity, modesty, and her faith in God.

Sadie's brother, recently-engaged John Luke, also was not shy about proclaiming his faith this year, revealing that now-fiance Mary McEacharn only began to show interest in him after he revealed his Christian values.

"We've always lived our lives...through the lens of faith...and the reliance on God," explained Willie of his family's dedication to Biblical principles.

It's worked for us," he added. "People without faith - it's really just a good game of luck ... we're going off the premise that there's something beyond this life."

"Duck Dynasty" returns to the A&E on January 7.