Phil Robertson’s suspension for speaking against gays has been lifted.
The Duck Dynasty patriarch was previously suspended by cable network A&E over his anti-homosexuality comments in a recent GQ magazine interview, causing a backlash that largely benefited the star.
And after intense pressure by fans and warnings by the Duck Dynasty cast that they will not continue the show without their leader, A&E finally caved in on Friday in a statement, blaming their initial decision to suspend him in the first place on its ‘strong sense of integrity’ in maintaining its ‘core values’ of ‘creativity, inclusion and mutual respect.’
In other words, blah-blah-blah.
Here goes the full statement:
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.
As ENTmania! reported, Phil Robertson refused to back down from his comments, insisting that what he said came from the Bible.