Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Taken Off Hiatus By A&E
A&E decided to lift Phil Robertson’s suspension, and allow the Duck Dynasty star to be a part of the show when it resumes filming in the spring.
Phil Robertson Off Hiatus
Robertson was put on hiatus by A&E after anti-gay and racially insensitive comments were published in GQ. The network sought to distance themselves from Robert’s sentiments, pleasing GLAAD and the NAACP, but sparking ire in many Duck Dynasty and Robertson clan fans.
"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 belief based solely on the article," A&E said in a statement. "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."
A&E’s quick reversal of the suspension is thought to be a result of the backlash they received upon announcing their decision. By reversing their decision, however, A&E now must bear the wrath of those who supported the initial suspension.
Bobby Jindal, GLAAD React To A&E's Reversal
Among those who’d criticized A&E’s suspension of Robertson was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. "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," he said in a statement. "Today is a good day for the freedoms of speech and religious liberty."
GLAAD, which had praised A&E’s swift action concerning Robertson, was less enthusiastic about his return to Duck Dynasty. "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. If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A&E has chosen profits over African American and gay people — especially its employees and viewers," GLAAD said.
Duck Dynasty’s fourth season was watched by nearly 12 million viewers. It was the most-watched nonfiction show that’s ever aired on cable.
– Chelsea Regan
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