Phil Robertson is the outspoken patriarch of one of America's most famous families -- a family that's welcomed into the homes of millions of people every week on the hit A&E show, “Duck Dynasty.”
Now the 68-year-old is preparing to reach even more people with his new book, “unPHILtered: The Way I See It,” in which he takes head-on the comments that got him into hot water last year.
“So people can read it and decide for themselves, but people need to get it in their head, dude, I don't hate anybody,” Robertson said in an interview with ABC News' Ryan Owens.
Robertson was suspended by A&E last December after the “Duck Dynasty” star gave inflammatory statements in a GQ interview, calling homosexuality a sin, saying the Nazis needed Jesus and that he never saw the mistreatment of any black person growing up in Louisiana before the civil rights era.
Robertson later defended his comments and said all he did was quote from the Bible, and that he would "not give or back off from my path."
“I just said, ‘Whether it be bestiality.' I could've said pedophilia, rape, homosexual sin, heterosexual sin,” Robertson said. “To me, I was just letting them know they're all the same. Just sin."
When asked whether he considers himself a homophobe, Robertson drew a comparison to Jesus.
“I'm as much of a homophobe as Jesus was,” he told Owens. “The people who are participating in homosexual behavior, they need to know that I love them.”
As for Robertson’s comments that he “never saw blacks mistreated,” Robertson says he explains that in the book as well.
"There's one race on this planet. It's called the human race," Robertson told Owens. "We're all the same. To me, there is absolutely nothing that has color to do with it."
Robertson's almost made-for-TV life story began long before the beard, when he was a clean-cut college quarterback who gave up football when it interfered with duck hunting season.
He says he was an alcoholic and a womanizer until he found Jesus at the age of 28, and says he was "ashamed" of the way he behaved then. His conversion changed his life, he says, strengthened his marriage to his wife, Miss Kay, and turned his hobby of making duck calls into a multimillion-dollar business.
"I'm a highly-educated man, maybe a shocker to some,” Robertson said. “I have a master's degree. I'm no dumbo.”
“Actually, I'd rather be considered ignorant but be a lot smarter than they think I am than the other way around,” he said.
Though Robertson is a TV star who found himself in a social media firestorm and devotes an entire chapter of his book to America’s addiction with social media, you will not find him checking Twitter or Facebook on his cell phone.
"I don't own a cell phone,” Robertson said. “I've never turned on a computer in my life.”
“So whatever America is saying or not saying about me, true or untrue, what they need to understand is I'm not hearing it,” he said.
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