It didn’t take long for A&E to change its mind.
Just nine days ago the star of its wildly popular Duck Dynasty series Phil Robertson was placed on “indefinite” hiatus after igniting a national controversy over his anti-gay remarks in a January GQ article, the network is welcoming him back with open arms.
Maybe the fact that the famous family cast doubt on continuing at all without its patriarch, networks were vying to snap them up and the fact that it’s the most watched reality show in cable TV history had a little something to do with the quick decision.
Anyway, here is A&E’s 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,” the statement reads in the Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
And in case any of you have been living under a rock the past week, Phil’s unofficial firing Dec. 18 came after the Louisiana native spoke of his disapproval of same-sex relationships in the pages of the popular men’s mag:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus, that’s just me,” Robertson said. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he added. “… Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
Three years before that, the Duck Commander was also caught on video spreading his fundamental Christian beliefs to a congregation in Pennsylvania.
What do you think about A&E’s decision? Tell us how you really feel in the comments below.