A&E Decides To Bring Back Gay-Bashing ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson

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December 27, 2013 12:35 p.m.

The quack is back. 

A&E announced Friday that it will “resume filming” the hit reality television show “Duck Dynasty” with star Phil Robertson following his indefinite suspension from the network last week for comments he made in an interview with GQ Magazine about gays, non-Christians, and African Americans. The network also promised it would work with Robertson to promote “unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.” A&E announced the decision to end Robertson’s suspension with a statement provided to the Hollywood Reporter

“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,” the statement said. “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.”

In the interview, which appeared in the January issue of GQ, Robertson compared gay sex to “bestiality,” implied non-Christian societies are more murderous, and suggested African-Americans were “happy” during the Jim Crow era. A&E’s statement acknowledged the comments reflect Robertson’s “personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey.” 

“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,” said the statement. “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.”

Along with announcing the end of Robertson’s suspension, A&E said it will launch a “national public service campaign” that will air on the network and will be dedicated to “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.” Additionally, an unnamed “A&E source” told the Hollywood Reporter that the network will work with Robertson and his family “to promote tolerance moving forward.”

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Read A&E’s full statement below. 

“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.”

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