Phil blasts producers as lying, two-faced scoundrels for trying to present the clan in a false light.
Furthermore, sources say he knew exactly what he was doing when he condemned gays in a fiery magazine interview, and that’s the secret behind the explosive comments that got the 67-year-old clan patriarch suspended from the A&E series.
“Phil’s no fool,” a source told The ENQUIRER. “He’s a college-educated man who heads a multimillion-dollar company, and he’s always disliked ‘Duck Dynasty.’
“From the very beginning, Phil has fought tooth and nail with producers who tried to portray his family as something they’re not.
“Phil saw the magazine interview as a chance to reveal his honest feelings. He knew A&E would suspend him. But that’s just what he wanted to happen because he’s under contract to the show. He’s finished with ‘Duck Dynasty’ and, like Samson, he’s ready to pull the whole thing down on the heads of producers, who he views as Philistines.”
The heavily bearded, camo-wearing duck hunter told a source: “I don’t need the money nearly as much as I need to stand up for what I believe in.
“I hate ‘Duck Dynasty’ – and there’s no way I’m going back to it!”
Robertson triggered a national firestorm when he gave a shocking interview to “GQ” magazine, blasting gays, adulterers, greedy people, drunkards, male prostitutes and idolaters. Among other things not fit to print, Phil proclaimed about gays: “Don’t deceive yourself – it’s not right. They won’t inherit the kingdom of God!”
The reaction to Robertson’s incendiary remarks prompted A&E to suspend him from filming for the indefinite future. The rest of the clan immediately rallied to his side, issuing a statement saying they “cannot imagine” doing the show without Phil.
“Duck Dynasty” is now the most successful reality series in cable TV history. Its fourth season premiere in August attracted 11.8 million viewers, and nearly nine million viewers tuned in to its Christmas special. That translates into hundreds of millions of dollars for A&E and a whopping $400 million in sales of merchandise like “Duck Dynasty” clothes, Christmas ornaments, albums, books and even Chia Pets.
But Phil, already filthy rich from the invention of the Louisiana bayou clan’s popular duck call and other business interests, could not care less about the money or the series.
“Phil has always been reluctant to do the show and fought the idea of the family following a script,” said the source. “He insisted that the Robertsons be portrayed as they are. He often said, ‘Heck, we’re rednecks and this is the way we live. We’re a close-knit family with traditional values, and I’ve never wanted to see that changed by scripts on the show.’
“At one time, Phil was a hell-raiser, but he became a born-again Christian and, to him, the show is all about spreading the Gospel – not about becoming richer.”
Robertson first crossed swords with A&E producers when bleeps were inserted into the show’s soundtrack to make it appear as if the Robertsons were cursing. “We don’t curse,” Phil raged. “They lied about us. If we’re not using profanity, why make it look like we’re using profanity?”
Phil erupted even more violently when producers asked the family to stop saying “in Jesus’ name” while praying.
“This is Hollywood hitting the Kingdom of God,” he fumed. “It’s spiritual warfare!”
The source added: “Phil is not backing down an inch. He sees himself more as a preacher than a TV star, and so do ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ viewers.”
After Phil’s suspension, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin leapt to his defense on her Facebook page. The conservative firebrand, who’s said to be angling to get the Robertson clan to appear on her upcoming reality show “Amazing America,” declared: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also blasted A&E’s decision as “a messed-up situation.”
The day after the axe came down on Phil, more than 70,000 people signed an Internet petition demanding that he be reinstated, and more than 190,000 Facebook users “liked” a page called “Bring Back Phil Robertson.”
Vet TV critic Bill Mann told The ENQUIRER: “A&E is showing incredible hypocrisy by suspending Phil Robertson from ‘Duck Dynasty.’ Their actions demonstrate that they don’t want reality TV to be real. They are censoring Phil, but what do the producers want – for ‘Duck Dynasty’ to be a scripted show like the ‘Beverly Hillbillies’? They’ve got to make up their minds. And if they really want it REAL then they shouldn’t be censoring Phil. Phil was being real, and A&E couldn’t handle it. The moral is if you’re doing a reality show, keep it real. Don’t fake it up.”
Phil was so fed up with the TV glitz that he didn’t even show up when Barbara Walters booked the family for an interview – opting to go duck hunting instead.
Meanwhile, in his book, “Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander,” Phil wrote that he was “100 percent convinced that ‘Duck Dynasty’ would never work.”
But the series has succeeded because of its real elements, explained a source.
“‘Duck Dynasty’ shows a family with love and religious faith at its heart, and that message has resonated more than anything else on TV today,” said the source.
“But the show has to stay real, and Phil knows it.
“That’s why he let it all hang out in the ‘GQ’ interview. He knew in his heart that a controversy would explode, and either the show would come to an end or the producers would be forced to accept the Robertson family just the way they are.”