Phil Robertson Welcomed Back to Duck Dynasty



phil-robertsonThe indefinite suspension didn’t end up being very long.  The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that A&E TV was ending Phil Robertson’s suspension based on comments made during his GQ interview. and that he is welcomed back to the show.  The family patriarch did not miss any filming so his suspension did not impact the 5th season of A&E TV’s number one show.

Here is A&E TV’s statement as reported by 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 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.

This falls short because frankly Phil Robertson deserves an apology for their reaction which was completely over the top.  Also their public service campaign should also promote tolerance of a Christian worldview as well.  Our readers should be aware by now that true tolerance requires disagreement with a position or belief otherwise there is nothing to tolerate.  We can demonstrate tolerance toward fellow human beings while not agreeing with behavior or beliefs.  Unfortunately that is lost on groups like GLAAD.

Time will tell if it is indefinitely lost on A&E TV as well.

Update: Fox News has a statement from the Robertson family:

In an exclusive statement to FoxNews.com, the family said it was “excited to keep making a quality tv show for our dedicated fans, who have showed us wonderful support. We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through Duck Dynasty and our many projects that we are currently working on.

” The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly.”

Photo credit: Zach Dilgard

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  • Jillnoble

    Yes, an apology should be forthcoming from A&E. They use the word ” tolerance” in a way that sounds duplicitous. Tolerance for gays but not Christian beliefs…hmmm. The Robertson family may not find A&E so necessary in the near future.

  • Nathan Phillips

    Well said, Shane. A&E’s response was as carefully worded as they come with 3 objectives – don’t let this look like we changed our perspective on his statement, justify our actions, keep the money rolling in. Quite conniving, really.

    • Bruce Van

      I would imagine “Keep the money rolling in” was the main factor for all involved. I would imagine viewership and merchandizing will get a nice spike…