(HOLLYWOODREPORTER) — "I know Phil Robertson. I know his beliefs," Deirdre Gurney, executive producer of A&E's breakout hit, said during The Hollywood Reporter Reality Roundtable. "I know how he treats a crew that has several gay people on it.”
Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson came under fire after making anti-gay remarks in December 2013, prompting A&E to temporarily suspend him. Less than a week later, A&E and the Robertson family jointly announced that Phil Robertson would remain on the series during its fifth season, with no impact on production. The immediate uproar over Robertson’s incendiary comments, made during an interview with GQ, surprised producers Gurney Productions.
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"I don’t think anyone expected it to be that kind of a reaction and get that much attention, so no one was prepared with what this really meant, what to say," Duck Dynasty executive producer Deirdre Gurney said during The Hollywood Reporter Reality Roundtable. “We were out of it as the production company. When this happens with talent or the network, it’s really the network’s job [to handle it]. We make it for them, but it’s their show -- it’s their job to decide how they want to handle it and what they want to do. The hard thing with that was it happened over Christmas holiday."