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

P_robertson

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.

Comments

  1. Joshua says

    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.

  2. Kyle M. Sullivan says

    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.

  3. Nigel says

    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.

  4. Gregory in Seattle says

    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.

  5. Kev C says

    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.

  6. anon says

    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.

  7. EchtKultig says

    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.

  8. Ryan says

    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…

  9. Nick says

    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.

  10. EchtKultig says

    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.

  11. Randy says

    Is that the actual statement?

    “people’s home”?
    “principals”?

    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.

  12. EchtKultig says

    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.

  13. says

    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?

  14. Kev C says

    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.

  15. Declan says

    A&E should be ashamed of themselves. This whole thing is beginning to look like a clever PUBLICITY STUNT using homophobia to promote duck dynasty among the bigots of America. The gay community should commence a BOYCOTT of the A&E sponsors of “Duck Dynasty”. Anybody who sponsors this show evidently approves of Robertson’s homophobic views.

  16. NY2.0 says

    This is not surprising in the least. You must give credit where it’s due, the other side got a huge groundswell of support for this man and his family using social media and change.org. A&E realized that they had way more to lose getting rid of Phil Robertson. GLAAD was in over their heads with this one.

    This incident also highlights how bigotry towards the LGBT community is still tolerated by millions of Americans once you use the disclaimer of “personal religious beliefs.”

  17. ratbastard says

    The only thing I found really offensive in what he said was including gays with beastiality. The part about it being sinful, along with adultery and so on, is of course part of the dogma of his religion, which is evangelical. He is so called born again and has acknowledged spending much of his life being a ‘sinner’, i.e. alcoholic, ‘womanizer’, pill popper, etc. He didn’t say he ‘hated’ anyone, and said repeatedly none of it ultimately was up to him, it was up to God. He is a really religious person. No one should act shocked by what he said.

    I personally strongly disagree with much of what he said, and pretty much scorn religious dogma, but at the end of the day, what he said pales next to some things other religious people , and people in general, have said. The largest public funeral in Israel recently occurred, for an orthodox rabbi who made incredibly outrageous public statements, including comparing non Jews (Goys) to donkeys, and that they existed to serve Jews, and their lives were worth no more than a piece of cattle. He also said Arabs should all be exterminated. He said black people in New Orleans died during Katrina because they didn’t study the Torah. How many reading this heard about this just now? Leaders across Israeli life praised this POS, including the prime minister. What Robinson said pales by comparison.

  18. DW says

    I’d never heard of the whole freak show until this manufactured “controversy.” Now, like everyone else in the country, I have the bearded image of this retrograde burned in my brain. Though I won’t actively seek it out, if the show should flash on my screen I would probably take a look, at least out of morbid curiosity. The stunt worked.

  19. Leroy Laflamme says

    And hopefully, that’s the end of the Duck-Fil-A saga. I’m astounded that this non-story got so much media coverage – the resolution was evident from the beginning. A&E knew exactly how this was playing out all along. We’ve reached a new low when negative publicity is deliberately generated in order to gain any publicity at all, based solely on the premise that it works. Can you say lazy? Sadly, this says more about the state of American television than it does about American bigotry & intolerance.

    Our household hasn’t subscribed to A&E in years, so once the media circus has moved on, we won’t have to see any of those ugly faces again. In the words of the delightful-always-insightful blogger over at DListed.com, ‘And now those of us who never watched Duck Dynasty can continue to not watch Duck Dynasty’. Move along, people! nothing to see here.

  20. ratbastard says

    I I also agree Robinson made some disturbing things about how ‘happy’ the black people who picked cotton along side him were in his youth. But give the guy credit for at least having no problem doing hard work picking cotton alongside black people (and others). He probably does connect and understand poor people, black and non black, in ways the vast majority reading this don’t. agree Robinson made some disturbing things about how ‘happy’ the black people who picked cotton along side him were in his youth. But give the guy credit for at least having no problem doing hard work picking cotton alongside black people (and others). He probably does connect and understand poor people, black and non black, in ways the vast majority reading this don’t.

  21. Bob says

    NOT WORTH FURTHER FUSS BY OUR SIDE.

    A–They have lots of show in the can and would have run them starting in January, so not filming the last few of the season with Phil would have not helped.

    B–The apology for saying it an a coarse, hateful and exaggerated way is a step. When “Christians” defend hate by saying its in the Bible, we need to say that bringing it up in the way Phil did is not necessary and impolite, so say it plainer if you gotta say it.

    C–It’s SHOW BUSINESS! Who knows if the entire thing was planned to get more audience. This could be Phil’s version of Miley Cyrus twerking.

    WE HAVE LEARNED TO BACK OFF TRYING TO CHANGE THE REDNECKS… they will stay as they are, but their kids will be better

  22. wheelie81 says

    Funny how so many rushed to defend A&E when they put him on suspension, saying they had the right to do so as his employer. Now that they have reversed their decision, suddenly that rule doesn’t apply anymore…..hypocrisy much? I, for one, supported them in their right to suspend him and I support them in their right to reverse that decision, regardless of how I personally feel about it.

  23. says

    His show will go on till people get sick of watching this particular bunch of faux-rednecks. And the fans who are cheering both him and his views will believe they’ve scored a big win. What they may not realize is that it’s a temporary win, since reality shows come and go but our civil rights gains are here to stay and will long outlast the stupidly overblown Duck “controversy.”

    Enough blather has been wasted on this already.

  24. CPT_Doom says

    So, the only weapon we have is consumer boycotts, and that should be easy. Any company that aligns itself with these worthless, low-class, faux country losers must be boycotted by all LGBT individuals and our allies. I have no problem if A&E wants to promote heresy, blaspemy and ignorance through their alleged country bumpkin, but those of us with wit and intelligence must insist this idiot and his retarted spawn never be allowed to interact with full human folk.

    Just kidding, right?

  25. Troy says

    Still trying to figure out why this is news and the recent real life article about a black fraternity at Morgan State university down In Maryland, blocking or ridiculing another student from joining their frat because he was gay as well as black…hmm, but we’re arguing corporate media Tv in 2013?!

  26. Mike Ryan says

    A&E should be boycotted. No gay person should work for A&E. No one who supports full equality should appear or support A&E. If A&E doesn’t want to take responsibility then hit them where it hurts most – in the pocketbook. Let the Rednecks of this country pay for the A&E bigot and hate.

  27. MickyFlip says

    Oh geez, I can’t wait until I never hear about this show, this person, whatever…ever again. I’ve never watched it before, never heard about it until this and still have no desire to want to see it. I barely watch TV as it is now.

  28. Ricardo says

    The big discussion on MANY LGBT blogs is that A&E used the LGBT community and at OUR expense did a publicity stunt. And it makes perfect sense.

    A&E decided they wanted some publicity, and did so at our expense, and in turn brought out every homophobe from the woodwork.

  29. Jordan says

    A&E knew he was militantly homophobic, employed him, then used the gay community to get some publicity. They suspended him knowing full well it would create a backlash against gays, and knowing full well they would rehire him!

  30. Kev C says

    Gays don’t watch Duck Dynasty and don’t care. It’s Hee Haw without the music. I almost feel sorry for people who do watch it because it’s so painfully fake and corny, just like their christian values.

  31. Malcolm says

    Well, didn’t GLAAD and other liberal activists first bring attention to his views? Why would A&E be responsible for gay activists’ overreaching and miscalculating again?

  32. NY2.0 says

    @ANON, his comments about African Americans didn’t get nearly as much attention as what he said about gays and the media is at fault for this. The right-wing also framed this as if his rights to free speech was being infringed which became the main story and the media totally let it slide.

  33. Jaker says

    called it.

    robertson wins.

    and now we can cut our losses short and leave this whole fiasco in 2013

    im relieved.

    @kyle m sullivan. you’re dhocked that no one came rushing to badshir’s defense for saying in a news show that sarah palin should be shat in the mouth? are you daft? who would defend that? oh i know unprincipled pc leftists who love to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

  34. Will says

    My younger cousins were watching this show on Christmas Day at our grandparents house. I watched it just to see what it was about and honestly I don’t understand why people like this? It’s just a bunch of bearded griswalds pretending to do every day things. It’s just another mind numbing show that’s being rolled out these days. In 2 years no one will remember this crap because that’s exactly what it is.

  35. Jaker says

    it’s also amusing to see the conspiracy charges against a&e that this was a pr stunt.

    lol no. it was a pc stunt, instigated by glsad who “consulted” aka strong armed a&e into this foolhardy suspension the very day the story about his interview broke.

    and now glaad looks like dumb, miscalculating bullies. bravissimi, chaps. you effed this up bigtime

  36. Rich says

    We need to find out who the sponsors of Duck Dynasty are. Then make sure our community unites to boycott these sponsors. The only thing these bastards understand is money.

  37. jpeckjr says

    Didn’t watch before. Won’t watch now. No surprise here. A&E assessed the profitability of the show with or without Phil and decided they would make more money with him than without him. Can’t imagine an entertainment business ever thinking like that!

  38. ratbastard says

    @Mr. Ehrenstein,

    Please sir point out specifically what I posted regarding this story that was “racist”. About the rabbi that had a funeral with around 1 million people, the largest in Israel’s modern history? That he made many incredibly obnoxious, racist (genuine rack, not the way you throw out the term) and hateful comments, and the this was hardly reported outside of Israel? All 100% true. And my mentioning this mostly unknown man of God saying extremely hateful things (unknown at least in America, because it was barely reported on), was not in any way,shape, or form “racist”.

    And I only mentioned two of the outrageous things this very popular and highly praised rabbi said, he said a lot more, including the Jesus Christ was scum and his mother Mary was a whore (to audience laughter).

    There are of Christian, Muslim and other clergy who say outrageous things, but this guy stands out for the hero worship and praise heaped on him by otherwise responsible people in Israel, a country where people should of all people know better.

  39. Just_a_guy says

    This whole thing was stupid. I’m going to do my nest to avoid a&e. A hateful southern family wins here. Trashing gay people made them all money. It’s all disgusting.

    Oh well. The times they are still a changin. It doesn’t matter that there are backwater profitable holdouts.

  40. jjose712 says

    They made the most absolute of ridiculous. If they were to drop their pants this way it would be better not suspended him in first place.
    Obviously money is more important than morals for them. I hope this will be back to bite them in a near future

  41. Lee says

    I am so disgusted by A&E and will do what I can to boycott their sponsors. There has to be a strong response to this decision by the millions of us who will not support bigotry and ignorance. Let’s see where this latest decision takes A&E. This is not about liberalism or free speech. It is about not tolerating hate speech toward anyone. A&E must have consequences for their poor choice in programming.

  42. cam says

    They NEVER intended to fire him. That is why they suspended him only.

    A&E supports the views that blacks were happier before civil rights and that gays are abominations.

    They support this view so much that they are paying this man a fortune and giving him a platform to advocate that position.

  43. Mikey says

    If you think this was just a publicity stunt than you’re very, very wrong. This situation has been horribly damaging to the A&E brand – they’ve pissed off both sides and come across as incompetent and tone deaf.

    That said they’ve now chosen money over morals and I think we should all definitely make our feelings clear. Let’s be honest gay people don’t watch Duck Dynasty. But we should totally target the show’s advertisers…

  44. Glen G says

    RE:Duck Dy-Nasty. I agree with most of these comments and hope to see many more. Down with A&E! It’s not hard to understand the situation, PURE PROFITS. So what’s your next money maker, Pornography(Straight only of course). I’m too have removed A&E from line up.

  45. Timothy says

    I’m kind of sad I can no longer watch Bates Motel on A&E but one day it will stream on Netflix and I can watch it over a few weekends. Not a huge loss compared to the damage people like this new Christian martyr and family of yuppies in hillbilly drag, may have done to real gay youth growing up in the stupid belt of the USA.

  46. Lymis says

    “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.”

    Just not YOUR families, you stinking queers.

    Good to know you feel strongly about those values, as long as they don’t conflict with the bottom line.

  47. Frogview says

    I have never watched this show. Nothing of interest for me. However, when the governor of Louisiana gets involved in a TV show scandal, we are talking state economy. Now you’ve peeked my interest. I wonder how much revenue from this show goes to the rebuilding after Katrina? Or where does it go.

  48. johnny says

    Seriously, who cares???

    We got Utah, I’m happy.

    Bigger fish to fry out there.

    This clown is known for what he is, that’s the best you can say about the situation. No more hidden bigots, he’s been called out.

  49. JeffNYC says

    This was their plan from the beginning.

    GLAAD and the gay community were just part of their reality show.

    Our “outrage” was exactly what they needed.

    Why did we cooperate?

  50. EchtKultig says

    Ummm, TJones, he did disparage blacks! the NAACP complaining was part of the reason A&E “suspended” him. By saying he “never knew any unhappy blacks” is using his white privilege to underhandedly suggest, as many white southerners of his age and socioeconomic background do, that blacks were better off under Jim Crow or even under slavery. Yes, he was smart enough not to phrase it that way, but every white racist southerner knew what he meant.

  51. EchtKultig says

    Allen – thanks for stopping by. We love it when angry closet cases visit. Hope you find some links to hot guys to jack off to until your wife gets back from church.

  52. DW says

    @ALLEN, troll: freedom of religion/speech have nothing to do with this — there’s no issue of government regulation of expression at stake here.

    We “queerboys” (and girls) are winning where it counts. You can go back in your mancave and watch the idiot box while the world changes around you.

    You get one mind-numbing TV show. We get our rights. Seems like a fair trade.

  53. the other Ken says

    Those with any intellect weren’t watching this show anyway. Those watching it can’t be surprised, the family is nothing but white trash. I bet A&E doesn’t allow anything like this to happen again.

    If there’s anything good to take away from this is that probably 10 years ago, the vast majority would agree with him. But now, A&E is faced with a problem and felt they needed to make a statement that they don’t agree with his comments.

    OK it’s not nearly enough, but really he hasn’t said much worse than your local Catholic bishop or most Muslim leaders, etc.

    I’ll file this away and it’ll be retold in a dozen years or so, when I’m speaking with my nieces and nephews and their children, as we discuss the fights the GLBT community had and what we had to overcome, and to see the disbelief on their faces will be priceless.

  54. Enchantra says

    ECHTKULTIG He did not disparage blacks- he stated his experience as he remembers it. When people can’t do that because it conflicts with doctrine, then we are indeed headed for serious trouble.

  55. Enchantra says

    The Other Ken – You must be kidding. America’s appetite for TV trash seems boundless; I give you:

    The Kardashians
    The Braxtons
    Jerry Springer (and spin offs)
    Roseanne
    Honey Boo Boo
    Bridezilla
    Flipping Out (Jeff Lewis)
    Lock Up
    Jail
    COPS
    Pawn Stars
    Towing Cars
    Bait Car

  56. tjones says

    @EchtKultig

    Good point, he did disparage blacks–in a way. Yet, I would contend that if he had
    said the things he said about gays–they’ll burn in the lake of fire and they’re lazy and on welfare AND they rape white women, you would have had an uproar.

    And, as you know, EchtKultig, ol’duckman knew NOT to say such stereotypical racist things about blacks. He was smart enough to tone it down.

    Oh, and what about JEWS? He didn’t dare go there.

    Notice how all these “dumb rednecks” know how to talk in code?

  57. jamal49 says

    OK. Now, can we all just switch the channel and move on from this contrived “controversy”. Besides, his comments about Jim Crow were too often ignored. Those comments were hideous and insidious and reflect a far deeper malaise that still affects American white trash no matter where they reside or what trashy reality shows they watch.

  58. Robert says

    A&E has decided it is OK to say terrible things about anyone as long as the show generates lots of money. So Now Duck Dynasty can go ahead and breakout their white hoods and robes…I wonder if A&E will feature the cross burnings on the next season?

  59. David says

    We need to find out who advertises during this show and boycott them to no end. Maybe I am overreacting, but I am really livid over this! He got a free pass to call us, our African American brothers and sisters, and a religion some very foul and untrue things.

  60. TK says

    Even before the controversy, I simply do not understand why people are so fascinated by this group of backward people (or are they really that backward?). I guess, as human beings, we are more fascinated by those who are less fortunate than us, and in this case, less intelligent than most of us. I have briefly seen it one time, and I just don’t get it.

    These rednecks are the new “KKK” of the 21st century. They dress up nice but beneath the “hippie” backwood outfits are racists and homophobes.

    It’s a cash cow for A&E and for the dumb Duck family. As long as there are ignorant people who rely on this as their entertainment outlet, the show will continue. How come the sponsors refuse to react?

    A&E will keep the show as long as the rating is high and as long as they still have big sponsors.

    Freedom of speech is a tired defense. There is a difference between Freedom of speech and hate. This is clearly a message of hate Robertson.

    Boycott the sponsors and the show! Especially the sponsors!

  61. Rick says

    The earlier comment posted by “Rick” was not from me, the real Rick, but this one is:

    Just so you all know, both the Chairman of A&E and the President of A&E are WOMEN….precisely the kind of “empowered”, self-involved, career-oriented feminists that effeminate gay men love to worship….matter of fact, they could be called the “divas” of the media world….

    ……and they are the ones that just took a big stinking dump right in the middle of your gay male plate…..

    Women are not our friends…..and maybe some day you will wake up and realize that, but I will not hold my breath.

    Pos

  62. sthrnmn says

    So southern men aren’t friends, women aren’t friends, Christians, Jews and Muslims aren’t friends. It is becoming a lonely world for gay men. Keep being so intolerant of any opinion that you do not agree with. The potential friend pool will grow smaller, and smaller, and smaller…

  63. L Goethe says

    Never heard of these creepy people. BUT once again the good old $ wins out. All the rationalization does NOT change the TRUTH. Creepy and hate filled and once again, also, the good old BIBLE wins.

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