ICYMI, it's been a pretty rough few days in the world of Duck Dynasty this week: As previously reported, series star Phil Robertson has been officially suspended from the show until further notice, following a series of terrible anti-gay and racist remarks he made in a recent interview with GQ. Statements like this one, for instance: 

"It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical."

After the statements were released, A&E released an official comment announcing that the Robertson family patriarch was being placed "under hiatus from filming indefinitely," as the network hurried to distance themselves from his comments.

Now, the Robertson family themselves have released their own comment on their website regarding the scandal—and they're apparently subtly threatening to leave the series unless Phil is bought back. Though they don't outright make any ultimatums, their remark that they "cannot imagine" the show going on without Phil is a pretty telltale sign that they're pushing for his return.

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.

A&E has released no comment in response to the family's statement.

[via EW]