Deirdre Gurney wanted to say something, anything in defense of Phil Robertson after the Duck Dynasty star got suspended for comments he made about homosexuality in GQ Magazine late last year.
Gurney is an executive producer on Robertson’s hit show, and she knew him better than any journalist covering the imbroglio.
Now, Gurney is talking about the reality show star she knows, and how he doesn’t reflect the negative image drummed up by the press over the last six months.
She told The Hollywood Reporter reality show roundtable that it wasn’t her place to publicly address the issue at the time. Now, she wanted to share what she felt on the subject. Staying quiet, she admits, wasn’t easy.
I wanted to be able to speak and explain, but we couldn’t,” she said. “We know our talent. I know Phil Robertson. I know his beliefs. I know how he treats a crew that has several gay people on it and people of different races and people from all different places.”
Panelist Tim Gunn (Project Runway) then chimed in, asking Gurney, “Are you saying he didn’t make the comments?”
“He made them, but he doesn’t deny who he is. He has beliefs and stands by them. But that isn’t how he treats people — it is what he thinks. I think there’s a separation between what he thinks and how he thinks people should be treated. I don’t think he was saying anything about how people should be treated,” she said, claiming she hadn’t heard Robertson make comments like that before.