“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson has been reinstated in the show, with cable channel A+E explaining that it caved to the demand of the Netizens to end Phil’s “indefinite hiatus.”
The 67-year-old duck hunter was put in the public spotlight after his controversial interview with GQ Magazine was published. In the interview, he said that homosexuality is a sin, likening homosexuals to swindlers, slanderers, adulterers, and others. He also claimed that he had never seen for himself the mistreatment of any black person in his younger days.
Following the backlash from Phil’s comments, A+E decided to suspend its show’s star. CEO Nancy Dubuc, according to TMZ sources, apparently didn’t want to disrespect the gay employees working in the production of the show by keeping Phil.
But while there are those who commend A+E’s decision to put Phil on “indefinite hiatus,” there were also those who demanded that he’d be brought back.
IStandWithPhil.com was launched to support the Robertson patriarch. It needed 250,000 signatures and has garnered over 262,000 as of the time of publication.
And just a little over a week, A+E has given into the demand, reinstating Phil in the show.
“While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his 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,” a statement released by the network reads.
“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.”
The statement continues, “So after discussion with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later thus spring with the entire Robertson family.”
The fifth season of the show was originally scheduled to kick off on January 15.
To contact the editor, e-mail: