Phil Robertson's 'Duck Dynasty' suspension lifted by A&E
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/30/2013
Phil Robertson'sDuck Dynasty suspension has been lifted by A&E after being in effect for only one week.
"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," A&E said in a statement obtained byUs Weekly.
A&E had suspended Robertson, a 67-year-old devout Christian, indefinitely from Duck Dynasty due to offensive anti-gay comments he had made in a recent interview with GQ magazine. The suspension prompted the entire Robertson family to suggest they may quit because they couldn't imagine doing the show without him.
"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," added A&E.
"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."
Robertson had told GQ he feels what's right and wrong has become blurred in society and homosexuality is on the same level as terrorism, alcoholism and bestiality. He had said he "never, ever" passes judgement on such people but God will eventually sort out the "homosexuals, drunks and terrorists."
In a Friday statement released to the media, A&E further elaborated on the network's position in the controversy.
"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," the network said, according to Us.
A&E also revealed Duck Dynasty will resume filming in Spring 2014. The decision was reportedly made after the network consulted with the Robertson family and numerous advocacy groups.
"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," said A&E.
Robertson reportedly did not miss any filming, so the upcoming fifth season of Duck Dynasty will remain unaltered.