US Baptist minister Jesse Jackson has spoken out to say that, despite being reinstated by his network, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson should be “more repentant and contrite”.
Reverend Jackson, who has been increasingly supportive of gay rights in the past few years, made the comments on the Steve Malzberg show.
“Mr. Robertson’s language was hurtful and painful to many people … [and] he’s been unrepentant,” he said.
“When people make mistakes, and people do make mistakes, you should be repentant and contrite and then seek forgiveness,” he continued.
The network has said it will use the controversy surrounding Robertson’s suspension, and subsequent reinstatement, to launch a national campaign to promote unity.
Saying he had spoken with the network, he said he thought human rights groups would not be happy with the reinstatement.
He said: “We’ve talked with them, but we were not at all conclusive and many of the groups that [feel] offended by what has been said will continuously [express] their disgust and express their pain.”
Interviewed for the January issue of GQ, Robertson said he could not understand why a man would choose to sleep with another man, instead of a woman.
“There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying?” he said. “But hey, sin: it’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical”.
He also caused controversy as he said he picked cotton with black slaves in Louisiana in his youth, and that he never saw the “mistreatment of black people.”
Reverend Jackson said: “At least the bus driver who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person was following state law… Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’”
“After discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E [Network] has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family,” the network said in a statement.
The Baptist minister has been more and more active in supporting the fight for equal marriage in recent months, after changing his stance on the issue back in 2010.