A&E has lifted its temporary suspension of Phil Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” following controversial remarks the reality television star gave in an interview with GQ magazine.
Put on “hiatus” since Dec. 18, Robertson’s nearly 10 day suspension will have no effect on the show’s fifth season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a statement provided to THR, A&E said it reacted quickly to Robertson’s statements but made clear to separate one man’s personal views from an entire franchise. A petition to have Robertson brought back, with the hashtag of #IStandWithPhil, had received nearly 260,000 signatures.
Here’s part of the statement from A&E:
“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.”
A source also told THR that the family and the network would “work together to promote tolerance moving forward.”
In his GQ interview, Robertson had paraphrased scripture while condemning gays, said the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor because they weren’t Christian, and defended the treatment of black Americans in the Jim Crow-era South.
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