The A&E Network has reversed its suspension over “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson on Friday Dec. 27; they will resume filming with the rest of the family next spring.
A&E Network said that the comments made by Robertson in the GQ interview reflected his personal beliefs. Robertson and his family have publicly stated their regret regarding the ‘coarse language’ he made and that the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only the article. Robertson also made it clear that he would ‘never incite or encourage hate.’
“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 also feel strongly about,” the A&E Network said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The suspension was triggered following Robertson’s interview with GQ magazine that sparked protests from human-rights groups for his nasty comments against African-American and gay people.
According to reports, the indefinite suspension of Robertson was supported by gay rights organization but numerous fans objected the decision. Shortly after Robertson’s suspension, more than half-million people liked a page on Facebook demanding the return of Robertson and boycotting A&E until then.
Various others defended Robertson which included political figures such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is not happy with A&E’s decision of lifting the suspension of Robertson. “Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists,” the organization said, according to reports.
“I am glad to hear that the folks at A&E came to their senses and recognized that tolerance of religious views is more important than political correctness. Today is good day for the freedom of speech and religious liberty,” Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Gov., said in a statement
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Duck Dynasty is a top-rated reality program with an average 13.4 million viewer.
Suman Varandani works as a Correspondent for the International Business Times, where she covers Entertainment, Lifestyle, Media & Culture and other trending topics.