Looks like those 250,000 petition signatures paid off. A&E has officially ended ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson’s suspension from the colossal hit, less than two weeks after his racist and homophobic remarks caused an uproar.
Phil Robertson is back, ladies and gents. The 67-year-old outspoken patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan — who was suspended after he made racist and homophobic comments to GQ — was reinstated Dec. 27 after fans rallied by his side. Read what A&E had to say below the jump.
A&E Welcomes Back Phil Robertson
Well that was quick. Less than two weeks after his racist and homophobic remarks in GQ led to his suspension from Duck Dynasty, Phil was reinstated by the same network that gave him the axe. A&E released their official statement on Dec. 27, officially freeing Phil after he called gay people “full of murder” — along with several other things:
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.
Phil Robertson: ‘I Will Not Back Off’
Despite making homophobic and racist statements — Phil said that black people were happier before the Civil Rights movement — Phil recently told a Bible study group at his home town church, White’s Ferry Road Church in Louisiana, that he wouldn’t back down after his suspension. Looks like it worked!
“I will not give or back off from my path,” Phil said. “We are a bunch of rednecks from Louisiana, but I am not uneducated, I have a degree from Louisiana Tech. But this week I have been called an ignoramus,” he said, according to eyewitnesses from MailOnline.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Did A&E make the right choice?
— Shaunna Murphy