A&E Lifts Suspension of ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson
There's been some resolution in the sensitive, headline-grabbing standoff between the Robertson family of the hugely successful TV show 'Duck Dynasty' and A&E, the network which airs the program and suspended patriarch Phil Robertson due to some unsavory comments he made about African-Americans and homosexuals in an interview.
The show will start filming again in 2014 with Phil Robertson back on the screen, as his 'indefinite suspension' has been lifted. The network has reached an agreement with the family and the parties are moving forward.
A&E took care to mention that it does not share Robertson's controversial views, but has chosen to reinstate him, since the show is not about one person in the family and does not rely solely on his perspective.
In a statement released Friday (Dec. 27), the network said:
"'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. 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 misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would 'never incite or encourage hate.'"
In order to placate those who were appalled by Robertson's comments, A&E will air PSAs that promote unity, tolerance and acceptance.
Robertson's comments were divisive and met with equal fervor on both sides. However, fans of the show rallied behind the family, who said that without Robertson, the show would not go on. The family also indicated that it had offers from other networks should A&E decide not to move forward with the patriarch reinstalled on the popular reality program. A fan-driven petition to reinstate Robertson drew tens over thousands of signatures.
While the Family Robertson and A&E have settled their issue -- much to the delight of the show's fans -- it's highly likely that equal rights advocates will continue to question how things were handled as they were.