Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” reality television show, is taking on so-called cancel culture in a new book — and says he speaks from experience.
“The cancel culture is alive and well,” Mr. Robertson told The Washington Times. “But those who put their faith in Jesus are ‘uncanceled’ because he’ll take care of any mistake you ever make.”
In December 2013, A&E “indefinitely suspended” the backwoods millionaire after a GQ interview quoted him paraphrasing St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians to say that “male prostitutes” and “homosexual offenders” would not “inherit the kingdom of God.”
During a telephone interview last week from his home in rural Louisiana, Mr. Robertson said the GQ reporter who visited him in his living room did not realize that asking “if homosexual behavior is a sin” would make him even more popular with many fellow Christians.
“Since they tried to cancel me, we have converted thousands because I took a stand on what was right,” said Mr. Robertson, 75. “He asked me about a particular sin; I just gave him a Bible verse off the top of my head and let him chew on it.”
Although Mr. Robertson believes the GQ reporter wanted to make him “sound like a hater of homosexuals,” he said he learned a lesson from the experience that he wanted to share in his new book.
The new hardcover book “Uncanceled: Finding Meaning and Peace in a Culture of Accusations, Shame, and Condemnation” (Thomas Nelson, $26.99), delivers his message — about fighting the cancel culture through faith in Jesus Christ — with a generous sprinkling of Bible quotations.
Mr. Robertson, who has built an estimated net worth of $15 million from his duck-call business in West Monroe, said family discussions inspired him to write the book for fellow Christians who fear losing their livelihoods if they voice unpopular opinions in today’s polarized political climate.
“All we’re doing is trying to reach out to our neighbors and love them,” Mr. Robertson said. “I’m trying to get people to be merciful to each other in the current environment in these United States of America.”
He said the book took him two years to write, starting from a basic desire to forgive the magazine reporter whom he said tried to cancel him.
“It strengthens my faith when they persecute me,” Mr. Robertson said. “The Bible is real plain: All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
The veteran duck hunter, who experienced a conversion to Jesus at age 28, identifies himself as a “member of the kingdom” and worships in private house churches every Sunday.
“In my younger days I would get drunk, I would get high, I would get laid, not necessarily in that order,” he said. “I just can’t stress enough that the message of the book is to love God, love your neighbor, and live under those two things. It’s not rocket science.”
Since “Duck Dynasty” ended on A&E in 2017, Mr. Robertson has been featured in “Duck Commander,” a reality series on the Outdoors Channel.
But the so-called “cancel culture” has made him more concerned with spiritual matters in recent years, he said.
He said the nation’s rising murder, suicide and crime rates inspired him to offer the book as a spiritual response to those who try to silence others for having different beliefs.
“I would just say be kind to them, love them no matter what they do when they attack you and keep on moving,” Mr. Robertson said. “How can they hurt me if my sins have been removed?”