Duck Dynasty reality star Phil Robertson spoke publicly for the first time today following his A&E suspension and defended the anti-gay comments that got him in hot water with the network. “We are a bunch of rednecks from Louisiana, but I am not uneducated, I have a degree from Louisiana Tech. But this week I have been called an ignoramus,” he told a Bible study group in West Monroe, Louisiana as reported by The Daily Mail. “This week I have been asked, ‘Is this the first time you have brought up sin?’ I said, ‘Are you kidding? I have been traveling to and fro spreading this message. ‘Then he said, ‘Well do you invite yourself to go and get your Bible and tell people what you are now sharing with us?’ I said, “No they are inviting me.” Last week Robertson set off a still-blazing media firestorm with his comments in GQ magazine’s January issue calling homosexuality a sin. “I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater,” Robertson said Sunday. Leading a prayer he said, “I will not give or back off from my path because you conquered death, Father, so we are not worried about all the repercussions,” without direct mention of A&E and the Duck Dynasty show. Later during the church’s service, son Alan Robertson addressed the media firestorm swirling around the Robertson clan: “Well we’ve had a quite a quiet week, shot some ducks, done some shopping, ignited a national controversy.”
Deadline’s Dominic Patten contributed to this report.