Just nine days after A&E announced that Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, would be put on an indefinite hiatus from the show following some inflammatory comments he made about homosexuality, the network has already lifted the ban on the reality show star, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the network claimed at the time that Robertson would indeed be suspended from the show, he wasn’t scheduled to be involved with filming during the past two weeks anyway, so his temporary leave has no impact on the series.
Here is a statement from the network regarding the situation:
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.
A&E has gotten equal amounts of heat and support from opposing sides during this controversy, with groups like GLAAD and networks such as Fox News weighing in on the situation. Unfortunately for supporters of the network’s original decision, Duck Dynasty is a ratings juggernaut that the network couldn’t afford to let go off the air for long.
It looks like Season 5 of Duck Dynasty will go off without a hitch on January 15 as originally planned. The question is, will you be watching or have Robertson’s comments turned you off from the show? Let us know what you think.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]