A&E Calls Off Suspension of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Patriarch Phil Robertson
After realizing that the network had shot itself in the foot by tinkering with their only hit series, A&E has announced that they will reinstate Phil Robertson on "Duck Dynasty".
The network reports that Duck Dynasty will resume filming in the spring with ALL family members including Phil Robertson. The network had suspended Phil as a knee jerk reaction to an interview with GQ magazine. 10 episodes of the coming season had already been filmed with Phil before the suspension, so he will not be left out of any episodes. (Which means the suspension really didn't do anything but make them look silly.)
A statement released to The Hollywood Reporter read,
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 mis-interpretation 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.
You'll notice that in their "statement" they do not apologize, and almost sort of defend their initial reaction to suspend the Duck Commander... that has some frustrated even more with the network. According to some posts on social network sites, many fans are calling for the cast of the hit reality show that follows the Roberston clan to leave A&E. The family has received many offers from other networks to air the family's antics.