Seeing as we've entered the final holiday shopping days (and panic mode), it's understandable that you may not be up-to-speed on the latest developments in the "Duck Dynasty" saga. So we've created this handy little list to fill you in.
1. Late last week, "omg! Insider" obtained footage of a church sermon that (depending on your side of the hullabaloo) provided further evidence of either Phil Robertson's homophobia or his Bible-sanctioned views. In the clip, the patriarch declares that there is a "lack of morality in America."
According to Phil, this lack of morality is proven by the fact that people "bow down to birds, animals, and reptiles, and each other." We're not exactly sure what he means by that, but he goes on to add that "the first thing you see coming out of them is gross sexual immorality. They will dishonor their bodies with one another, degrade each other. ... Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions."
2. After his family bonded together and threatened to pull the plug on their A&E show if Phil remains banished, the head Duck Commander himself spoke out for the first time since his quotes to GQ about homosexuality sparked a firestorm — and he's standing by his statements.
"I will not give or back off from my path because you conquered death, Father, so we are not worried about all the repercussions," the reality TV star declared while leading a Bible study group in Louisiana on Sunday, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, which had special access to the session. He also added, however, "I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater."
"Sexual sins are numerous and many — I have a few myself," he admitted. "So what is your safest course of action? If you're a man, find yourself a woman, marry them, and keep your sex right there."
3. Louisiana's lieutenant governor expressed his support for Robertson and vowed to help protect the future of the show.
"I'm sure a lot of people found the comments offensive. There's no question about that," Jay Dardenne declared. "The point is, he has an opinion and has a set of beliefs and is entitled to those without jeopardizing what has become an extremely popular show across America." In fact, he offered to connect the Robertsons with his own personal TV industry contacts if they reach a stalemate with A&E.
"If the Robertson family cannot come to an agreement with A&E and wants to continue the show, Louisiana already has the infrastructure in place to maintain their record-breaking program," he shared while quickly noting that he would use his own Rolodex, rather than state-funded efforts, to assist.
It's also worth noting that the IStandWithPhil.com petition has now garnered over 195,000 signatures — just 5,000 short of its 200,000 goal.
4. On Saturday, Cracker Barrel pulled "Duck Dynasty" products from its shelves — and on Sunday, the comfort food chain put them back.
"When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers," a statement explained. "You told us we made a mistake… You wrote, you called, and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat-out told us we were wrong. We listened. Today, we are putting all our 'Duck Dynasty' products back in our stores. And we apologize for offending you."
[Related: How 'Duck Dynasty' Became Such a Huge Hit]
5. But Cracker Barrel customers weren't the only ones expressing their outrage. Charlie Sheen took to Twitter to bash Phil Robertson.
"hey Mallard brained Phil Robertso [sic]! you have offended and hurt so many dear friends of mine, who DO NOT have the voice or the outreach that I do," he wrote. "Your statements were and are abhorrently and mendaciously unforgivable. The idea that you have a job outside of dirt-clod stacking is a miracle. The only 'Dynasty' you are attached to might be the re-runs of that dated show."
He later followed this up with a few more thoughts.
Pee Robert-skumm, not done w/u Matthew 7:1-5 "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged. c
— Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen) December 22, 2013
I came up with a PERFECT holiday idea! Denise and Phil Robertson should get married! then he can practice the Bestiality he hates! c :) — Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen) December 23, 2013
6. In the midst of all this, still others weighed in.
Mike Kellett, the pastor at Phil Robertson's church (who has reportedly been praying alongside the family since its patriarch was suspended from filming), stated that Phil has known gay people through this congregation. “We’ve had people here before that struggle with that sin. He knows them," Kellett shared. "It’s not a negative thing."
And potential 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee seized the moment to use Robertson's statements to remind voters that Barack Obama opposed gay marriage back in 2008, but has since flip-flopped in his stance.
7. Last but not least, as days go by without a definitive agreement between the Robertsons and A&E, other (much smaller) TV networks have begun to circle the powerful franchise.
Among those throwing their hats into the proverbial ring include the Christian-affiliated Hunt Channel, owned by a man named Merrill Sport, and the outdoorsy Pursuit Channel, run by CEO Rusty Faulk. We'll have to wait and see how this all shakes down, but we can't help but note that the battle for "Duck Dynasty" between Merrill and Rusty could be as exciting as the show itself.
In conclusion, nothing has been resolved between the family and the network, but lines are continuing to be drawn... and clarified... and redrawn.