A&E Lifts Phil Robertson Suspension, Will Resume Filming with Entire 'Duck Dynasty' Family


A&E announced today that it will lift Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson's suspension and resume filming with the entire family. The network also said it would air a PSA series "promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people" but did not say whether any of the Duck Dynasty clan would participate.

Their 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.

Robertson has remained defiant about his anti-gay remarks since comparing homosexuality to sex with animals and saying gay people are going to Hell like drunks and terrorists, in a GQ interview published earlier this month.

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  1. this isn't about the freedom of speech. he was free to say what he wanted without fear of imprisonment or reprisal from the government if i was his boss i would have fired his ignorant ass too and put out a statement on why. way to make a point A&E.

    Posted by: Joshua | Dec 27, 2013 6:50:26 PM

  2. Southern rednecks can claim their "victory" all they want while the real victories are in the courts and gay marriage is soon coming into their states.

    Posted by: litper | Dec 27, 2013 6:50:53 PM

  3. Golly, didn't see that coming, did we? Hmph. Amazing there was not this groundswell of opinion for Martin Bashir when he was fired for saying unkind things about Sarah Palin. Guess "freedom of speech" only works one way.

    Posted by: Kyle M. Sullivan | Dec 27, 2013 6:52:18 PM

  4. A&E is permanently off my channel line up. Not that it matters, since I don't think I've watched any of their programming for years.

    Posted by: Bob R | Dec 27, 2013 6:55:43 PM

  5. Just contact any company advertising on A&E and tell them the association with duck dynasty makes you re-evaluate their product and because of hate speech you can no longer buy their product.

    Posted by: Nigel | Dec 27, 2013 6:57:34 PM

  6. After creating a controversy and getting a vast amount of free publicity, not to mention all the people who will now watch just "to show those liberals what it means to be a Bible-believing bigot!"

    Gee, imagine my surprise. Meaning that any appearance of surprise on my part is purely imaginary.

    Posted by: Gregory in Seattle | Dec 27, 2013 7:01:38 PM

  7. It should be interesting to watch the Robertson family fall apart into bitter discord and dysfunction, pretending they are happy happy happy when they are clearly not. Mr. Sulu, set course for Tragi-Comedy Gold.

    Posted by: Kev C | Dec 27, 2013 7:05:15 PM

  8. It's a business decision either way.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 27, 2013 7:07:06 PM

  9. My guess is that sales of Duck Commander merchandise has soared. As they say in Hollywood, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    Posted by: Clayton | Dec 27, 2013 7:07:11 PM

  10. I think this result came about because all the controversy centered on his anti-gay comments. But, not much heat came about from his racist comments. Had there been as much emphasis on his racist comments as there was on the gay comments, this would have ended differently.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 27, 2013 7:10:48 PM

  11. I'm happy for the bigots. They got their duck show back.

    I'm more happy for all the couples getting married in Utah.

    Posted by: crispy | Dec 27, 2013 7:12:10 PM

  12. A&E has been showing Duck Dynasty marathons, so yeah, this was all about publicity for A&E.

    Posted by: GoFigure | Dec 27, 2013 7:13:25 PM

  13. Sorry Kev, these inbred grifters are laughing all the way to the bank. (Notice I didn't say hillbillies or hicks. They really aren't exactly that. They were very wealthy even before the moronic show started)
    Anyhow, anyone on the left who got in a huff that "OMG, 67 year old white southern racist jerk doesn't like gays"...which about as obvious as saying "sun rises in the morning" did A&E a huge favor. They are going to make millions from the revived interest in the series among the tea party pea brains.

    Not that GLAAD was solely responsible for the risible suspension (which, even if hadn't been suspended(!), was a joke anyhow) but they need to learn it's not necessary to chase every ambulance in this world. There's some quote about picking your battles carefully from a French philosophe, can't remember it exactly but it certainly applies here. Yes we are getting the last laugh at the moment with the gay marriage ruling in Utah, but that doesn't mean stupid PR battles, which we lost, like this one and Chick-Fil-A-gate, aren't damaging.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Dec 27, 2013 7:14:04 PM

  14. What a bunch of WIMPS!

    I'll never watch anything on A&E ever again.

    I'm going to figure out how to ban the channel from my cable box so I don't accidentally stumble on it...

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 27, 2013 7:19:54 PM

  15. Bad Move A&E. I don't watch Duck Dynasty but there are other shows on A&E I did. Won't anymore.

    Posted by: G McGinnis | Dec 27, 2013 7:22:05 PM

  16. Not a big surprise- A&E and Bravo (save an occasional Inside the Actor's Studio) haven't produced anything worth watching in a very long time. They need to rename those two networks RTN1 and RTN2 (Reality Trash Television Network).
    DD will have a long life and it will also appear in political speak for several election cycles to come..... meanwhile the fake hillbilly family is laughing all way to the bank-as if they need the money.

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 27, 2013 7:28:05 PM

  17. BTW the ultimate victory would just be to ignore these dinosaurs, so long as it isn't someone with real political power (which you don't obtain by merely expressing what other similar dinosaurs believe). Imagine if Phil had said in the GQ interview that he doesn't believe in evolution...which he probably doesn't. Surely there would have been some tittering on forums that discuss the evolution/ID/Creationism "debate" but it wouldn't have become a national media story. As we can only hope these sorts of things do not become in the future.

    BTW as for him having a masters in education, well, I doubt it was from Harvard and at a rural southern university in 60s, they were practically giving them away. I know some people from that era who have them who are dumb as a pile of bricks. Not even as smart as he is, and you have to give this "clan" some credit for their ability to self-market. Oh...I see now...Louisiana Tech. Well, yeah, what I said.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Dec 27, 2013 7:28:45 PM

  18. No more A&E in this house.

    Besides, they are BORING!!!!!

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Dec 27, 2013 7:31:16 PM

  19. Is that the actual statement?

    "people’s home"?

    Aside from the poor language skills, their even worse PR skills have ensured that I will never be their customer. Along with Exxon, they're on the "not even once" list.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 27, 2013 7:31:34 PM

  20. Agreed Nick. Cable television bar a few shows on premium channels is a cultural wasteland anyhow. Just as a I didn't really give a flyin' f--- that some member of the Honey Booboo freak family was gay or pro-gay, this is something I would have completely tuned out of it hadn't become hysteria-inducing catnip for the media and liberal "advocacy" complex.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Dec 27, 2013 7:34:08 PM

  21. Their sponsors Chick-fil-A and Cracker Barrel are celebrating!

    Posted by: CB | Dec 27, 2013 7:34:18 PM

  22. They're all worth fighting.

    A&E took the split tongued approach to ending what should have been an easy decision. Two weeks, stick by their decision; instead they cave to the rantings of a mob. The villagers shook their pitchforks and A&E caved. Good job A&E. Way to show a backbone.

    A FOOTBALL COACH got 2 weeks suspension & mandatory classes on diversity for saying fu*king fa**ot.
    The NCAA didn't flinch. The University didn't bat an eye. Robertson demeans blacks, LGBT, & true Christians and A&E let's him walk.

    Then has the nerve to play off Robertson as part of a family that prays for tolerance. Which is the act, A&E? Where Robertson & the family pray for tolerance or where Robertson preaches hate from the pulpit & lies by calling it 'quoting the Bible'? Will you show those clips during the 'talks'? Will you address his white privilege views of Blacks in the Jim Crow South?

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Dec 27, 2013 7:37:05 PM

  23. Booooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 27, 2013 7:46:13 PM

  24. I disagree, EK. Americans will tune into the show, expecting them to make some comment or discussion or joke or display of victory .. or anything to acknowledge the contraversy .. and it won't happen. It will be like it never happened, because it's a fake reality show. It will have the usual cornball humor and scripted situations, and never acknowledge reality. The viewers will experience uneasiness and cognitive dissonance, realizing that their feelings for or against gays, doesn't matter to a situation comedy.

    Posted by: Kev C | Dec 27, 2013 7:46:19 PM

  25. $$$$$$$$$

    Posted by: Sam | Dec 27, 2013 7:47:45 PM

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