A&E first suspended the Robertson patriarch after his controversial GQ interview had people's jaws on the floor. It seems after the fans petitioned, the sponsors stood by the show and the family spoke out in support of Phil, A&E had a change of heart.
A&E shared their decision this afternoon, "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 misinterpretation 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."
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They continued, explaining that they'll be releasing several public service announcements. "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."
Updated to add: Willie Robertson took to Twitter to share his happiness over the decision. "Back to work!!! So proud of all the fans of the show and family. Ole Phil may be a little crude but his heart is good. He's the Real Deal!".
TELL US – IS A&E FLIP-FLOPPING FOR THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR? ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED IN THEIR DECISION?
Photo Credit: A&E