Duck Dynasty Returning With Phil Robertson in 2014; Suspension Lifted By A&E

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Despite much controversy over the past two weeks, Duck Dynasty will return on schedule next year, with Phil Robertson an active participant, A&E announced.

The company suspended Robertson indefinitely December 18 following controversial anti-gay comments the 67-year-old made in an interview with GQ.

Duck Dynasty had been on hiatus when the comments went public; the show is set to return in January and to resume filming new episodes this spring.

None of that will change. The network, “after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups,” says the show will go on.

The Robertson Family

The Robertson family admitted that the anti-gay comments were coarse, but criticized the suspension and implied they would not film without Phil.

Since the national controversy erupted, Phil Robertson has been defiant, reiterating his stance on gays, sin and homosexuality at a Bible study group.

He has been roundly criticized by gay rights groups, but supporters began demanding his reinstatement and even planning a Chick-Phil-A Day.

The network thus found itself in the midst of a PR nightmare, and ultimately decided to distance itself from Phil's views while still bringing back the show.

A&E's statement on the decision, released Friday, reads:

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 home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.

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.

And that's that. While there may be backlash and protests as a result of its decision, A&E was going to get that regardless, and is standing by its cash cow.

Do you think their statement and justification goes far enough? Or did Robertson deserve more than a wrist slap? Comment and vote in our survey below:

A&E lifting Robertson's suspension: Right or wrong?

 

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Like anyone, with a brain, didn't see this coming. It was hype for the show .

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Anyone who watches this dumb show of a bunch of fake hillbillys riding around in limos and living in mansions and don't know they are being put on deserve what they get. A boring show with boring people, who are laughing all the way to the bank.

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@ Spare+me

you are so right

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@ Spare+me

Up your AZZ! U are mony but a skank! A black skank.

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Question: How do the stars of Duck Dynasty differ from GLAAD sweetboys? Answer: The Duck Dynasty guys blow duck calls and the sweetboys blow each other. A&E along with Cracker Barrel both got a hard lesson in why you don't align yourself with weirdo and unpopular fringe groups!

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@ charles+marshall

And you just blow!

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Boy! Did they reel in all the dumbed down, lower IQ people. Can't you all see a publicity stunt here? Sad...........

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also, how the hell can anyone watch them slaughtering animals. wtf is this world coming to and the tv shows about hunting. bunch of vile bastards. rot in hell.

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@ christieo

They should get their food at grocery stores on styrofoam platters like normal people - right?

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@ Ken-69

Not sure about this family but most duck shooting (which they promote) is 'recreational'. One in four birds shot are left wounded to die in agony.

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A&E friggin cowards only thinking about the money. bastards. I never watch that show and never would. bunch of white trash.

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I haven't seen this show but I'm guessing Americans must really hate ducks for this family to be so popular. Among the kind of people I mix with, killing ducks as a 'sport' is for total pricks.

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This isn't a big hit for gays nor a victory Taliban leaning Evangelical Christians. Money speaks and according to A&E's bean counters, the Tealibangelicals bring more money to A&E's wallet. Freemarketeers rejoice, the system works. There is not a person attracted to the same gender in the world that thought for one second they had equality and would be loved and accepted by all. The same goes for us black/white/mixed people. I know I eat a meal with my much darker brother (I could pass if I cared to) at a Cracker Barrel in the South that some soldier for racial and moral purity will make a comment on how the races should not be mixing. I know this will not change in my life time. It is better to know exactly where people stand on such issues rather than have them hiding under a façade of peace, love, and goodwill. Shocking, SHOCKING I tell you that Mr. Duck Dynasty has these feelings. Who would have guessed? So know we all know and can act accordingly.

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@Lynn- I take it you are white? To understand ones point of veil it's necessary to understand the history. Christians do not see gay rights as a civil rights issue it is a moral issue, that does not mean it is hate. Political correctness is a forced protocol that people must follow or they will labeled Homophobe or racist. Gays are not held to that! This turns into a double standard and with comes hate.

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just the best thing to do.........

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