A&E reverses course on 'Duck Dynasty', will resume filming with patriarch
It appears 'Duck Dynasty' will take flight again with a full flock of Robertsons after A&E reverses course.
Earlier this month, the network suspended Phil Robertson after he made controversial claims against homosexuals in an interview with GQ. There was some doubt as to whether the show would continue without Phil. On Friday, A&E announced it had reversed course through a statement:
"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'."
The network added that "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."
After his suspension, Robertson received support from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin.
"Free speech is an endangered species," Palin wrote on Facebook, alongside a photo of herself with the cast of the show. "Those intolerants hatin and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also voiced support for his embattled constituents.
"Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I dont agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV," Jindal said in a statement. "In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."
A&E isn't the first company associated with the show to change its tune. Cracker Barrel pulled 'Duck Dynasty' items from the shelf on Saturday but restocked the items two days later.