Duck Dynasty’s executive producer has said it’s not her job to defend the homophobic tirades of the show’s star.

Phil Robertson was suspended from the A&E reality show for less than two weeks last year, when he questioned in an interview to GQ why gay men would prefer “a man’s anus” over a vagina.

Despite the family claiming it had “moved on” from the incident, earlier this year Robertson gave an Easter Sermon claiming that the “sexually immoral” and “wicked” would go to hell.

His son Alan Robertson last month hailed him as a 21st Century prophet at an anti-gay group’s conference, and likened him to John the Baptist.

Deirdre Gurney, the executive producer of Duck Dynasty, admitted to Hollywood Reporter that she had always known about the family’s views.

She said: “I wanted to be able to speak and explain, but we couldn’t. We know our talent. I know Phil Robertson. I know how he treats a crew that has several gay people on it and people of different races.

“He made [the comments], 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.

“When someone comments to the press, things are taken out of context. Reporters are dealing with people who don’t have media training.

“When something 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, and they decide how they want to handle it.”