by Free Britney at . Comments

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:

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Phil Robertson disrespected the gay employees at A&E, and that's ultimately what got the star suspended from Duck Dynasty, according to a new report.

Robertson Family

The 67-year-old Robertson family patriarch's suspension has become a polarizing topic this week, and now TMZ has insight into how it all went down.

Why would the network suspend one of its most popular personalities when it knew the backlash it would get for it from fans and certain pundits?

A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc felt she could not in good conscience ask the network's gay employees to kill themselves for the show after Phil's comments.

When Robertson disrespected them by calling all gays sinners, and rather coarsely at that, in his recent interview with GQ, Dubuc felt she had no choice.

A number of gay employees involved in the production of Duck Dynasty were outraged by Phil's comments to GQ and wanted Dubuc to take action.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

The Duck Dynasty cast released a statement in support of suspended star Phil Robertson, implying that they can't go forward with the show without him.

“We are in discussions with A&E to see what [this] means for the future of Duck Dynasty,” the family statement said of Phil Robertson's suspension.

“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.”

The family defended Robertson’s comments and stressed that they 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,” the family said.

“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.”

The Robertson family said it has “spent much time in prayer” since learning A&E had suspended Phil over anti-gay comments he made in GQ.

The family also criticized A&E for its actions, saying he was placed on hiatus “for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.”

Indeed, he sparked a national debate on religion and tolerance in an interview in which the reporter asked him what he considered to be sinful behavior.

The 67-year-old Robertson, who fans of the show know is very religious, said:

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Phil Robertson has been suspended indefinitely from A&E's Duck Dynasty amid the intense backlash over his recent anti-gay comments in GQ.

The family patriarch is famously outspoken and never affair to ruffle feathers (excuse the pun), but these remarks were particularly eyebrow-raising.

Many were offended, but others are attacking A&E, saying Phil Robertson's anti-gay comments are merely statements of his religious and personal beliefs.

Sarah Palin was one of many fans to take to social media in response, charging that the Duck Dynasty star's suspension is an attack on freedom of speech:

“Free speech is an endangered species. The ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also voiced support for his embattled constituent:

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana."

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