Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s Duck Dynasty clan, who was suspended from his hit reality series on Dec. 18 following his odious comments about gay people, won’t be put on hiatus after all. The network and the Robertson family announced Friday that Phil will still be part of the series — and since he didn’t miss any filming, his temporary suspension will have no effect on the upcoming fifth season.
An A&E statement to The Hollywood Reporter
As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s homes, and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principles. That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family … a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.
So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.
We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.
In addition, an A&E source says the family and the network are going to work together to promote tolerance.
Robertson’s comments in GQ magazine, which included the 67-year-old likening homosexuality to “bestiality,” prompted an almost immediate announcement from A&E.
My Comment: It is not clear from the Statement as to why A&E has in effect reversed its decision. Can it be the almighty buck, I mean duck. It is clear that A&E is not willing to stand on its principle and so it has found language to worm its way out, while all of us are clear, this is more about the grand old ducky dollar and less about principle. I for one applaud forgiveness, however Mr. Duck guy has yet to apologize to the gay community and so the post-disaster spin and current flowery rhetoric as expressed by A&E and SOME members of their family is meaningless and has not taught anyone anything. The so called promotion of tolerance sickens me. Who the hell needs tolerance from those incapable of acceptance.