A&E is not attacking his freedom of speech they just don't want to associate their brand with his extreme opinions, his opinions supports hatred sanctioned by religion towards a community, this is very dangerous communications for A&E they have very little choice here.
Putting him on hiatus is the proper communication from A&E, they did the right thing for their brand, reputation and their business not to mention, to a lesser extent, they did the right thing for all the gay celebs that they employ present and future.
He didnt just get up on a soap box, he was asked during an interview. He has a right to respond with his own beliefs. BUT A&E can also respond any way they like. They have every right to deal with it any way they want, but The reason i say they botched it is because now everyone in north america knows about the damn interview(striesand effect), and they have created a mountain out of a mole hill. They put themselves into the middle of everything, instead of taking a step back and distancing themselves.
The remark wasnt done during the show so its very easy for A&E to just say they dont agree and its not what they believe, Hell they could have instructed Phil to make a statement that its his beliefs and not that of A&E. It distances themselves while not making a big deal about it and at the same time not pissing off the millions of viewers who watch the show.
I am Torgo, I take care of the place while the master is away.
"Hes the clown that makes the dark side fun.. Torgo!"
Ha.. i won my bet, but i wasnt around to gloat because im on a better forum! See ya guys on Viz