‘Duck Dynasty’: A&E Lifts the Phil Robertson Suspension

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Well that didn’t take very long. In the world of TV money talks and bullshit films regularly. A&E has reinstated Phil Robertson, and he’ll once again be apart of the show’s upcoming season. Deadline.com broke the story, and has all the major details.

Facing a firestorm of criticism that has shown little signs of subsiding, A&E parent company A+E Networks just issued a statement (read it below) announcing that the flagship A&E reality series Duck Dynasty will resume filming in the spring with the entire Robertson family — including patriarch Phil Robertson.

Here’s the statement released by A&E concerning Phil’s reinstatement.

As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.

That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. 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 mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. 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. 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.

We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.

It’s clear that the A&E was never going to kill their golden goose in “Duck Dynasty”, and the reversal is well timed during the holiday break between Christmas and New Years. With most people focused on anything else besides TV, it’s a perfect time to reinstate Phil. It reminds me of the “Take out the Trash” episode of the “West Wing”.

The real lesson here is that there’s always a different standard in society for those rich and successful. Try making comments like Phil at your job, and expect a quick dismissal from HR. Star in a multimillion dollar cable franchise, and all can be forgiven. If “Duck Dynasty” wasn’t breaking ratings records for the network then this could have been a fatal mistake, but no executive in their right mind would end this show.

The real loser in this whole episode is the A&E PR department, which should have never allowed their resident backwoods family to sit down with GQ magazine. If I worked in that department I wouldn’t be buying new office supplies anytime soon. Either way our long national nightmare is over. Now we can refocus on what’s important like “The Blacklist” and “Game of Thrones”.

Topics: A&E, Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson

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  • johnjohnphenom

    Ha! Now that’s good publicity. I don’t imagine many ass bandits watched this show anyway, along with those pussies at PETA. Who in their right mind would send their cash cow to the butchers? Totally predictable and btw Ben, why wouldn’t you let them sit down with GQ? A magazine focusing on fashion, music, movies and television for MEN. I don’t care what Site you right for. Your man card, fucking hand it over. Ps game of thrones is for nerds, losers and stay at home moms

    • Mrteapot

      “Game of thrones is for nerds, losers and stay at home moms”
      GTFO here jim bob the show makes millions in ratings, from a critically acclaimed book…but you prolly never read
      one that didn’t have pictures before lol
      Duck Dynasty only backward rednecks who drive pick up trucks and love chewing
      tabaccie, oh prolly watch fox news religiously and thinks he’s a bad ass cause he shoots ducks…with his cowboy boots and chain wallet haha
      Did i just categorize you jimmy?

      • Jack Bandit

        I don’t agree with a lot of what the OP said, so before you confuse this with some defense tactic, I figured I’d go ahead and make that clear.
        That said, GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU RACIST STEREOTYPING PIECE OF SHIT! “Oh, let me just attempt to take the moral high ground and imply stupidity while making generalizing remarks. That will show ‘em.”
        Your whole damn comment is one long run-on sentence full of poor grammar and misspelled words. I’d be more apt to believe the misspelled words were there for effect, if it wasn’t for the other mistakes.

        Just FYI:

        1. Duck Dynasty also makes millions in ratings. …You know, just in case you were tempted to make an ass of yourself again with erroneous statements like that.

        2. Taking that considerably large fan base into account (You know, those millions of people I just mentioned. Throwing too many facts at you at one time might be a mistake, but I’m trying to correct a lifetime of ignorance in just one comment…sadly, I won’t succeed), it’s not just “backward rednecks” (I think you meant backwoods, but whatever) who drive pick-up trucks and chew…tabaccie”.

        Side note: Do you honestly know anyone who talks like that or are you just further proving my point about stereotyping by putting on an exaggerated accent? I live in the south. I have my entire life and in all of the thick accents I’ve come across, I’ve never once heard anyone call it “tabaccie”.

        3. Whether you want to admit it or not, Fox News is the highest rated cable news network in the country. Do you really think that’s because it’s only concentrated in the south? What’s more, MSNBC has had more instances of editing tapes, biased reporting, etc. than Fox News. Just food for thought.

        4a. “and thinks he’s a bad ass cause he shoots ducks” – I think you’re just projecting here. In the show and in real life experiences, I’ve never heard anyone say or even give the impression that they thought they were “bad ass” because they shot a duck, a deer, a pig, a dove…you get the idea. I mean, do you think you’re bad ass when you get off on those fantasy novels you seem to enjoy so much? I wouldn’t imagine so and I’m not even referring to how hard that would be to pull off while sitting on your ass eating cheetohs and hot pockets, reading about dragons or playing computer games. I’m talking about it being something you like to do, so you do it. That’s the typical reason that people do the hobbies and activities they do. Of course, if you want to pretend that you’re some sort of psychologist and make baseless assertions, you’re free to do so.

        4b. “with his cowboy boots and chain wallet” – Oh, for fuck’s sake. Just when I think the stupidity has peaked, you go for broke and completely out do yourself. Again, baseless stereotypes. I’ll get into how much of a bigoted asshat you are, but first…
        No one is going to be wearing cowboy boots while hunting. Same goes for a “chain wallet”. I would hope that the reason would be obvious, but then again, you did just write all of this nonsense. Depending on where you are, cowboy boots are not going to be the best decision for walking through the woods, much less marshes and swamps where you’d typically go duck hunting. Fucking idiot. As for the chain wallet, why would you risk something that would make noise and give away your position? You just tried to cram every generalization you could into one moronic comment and it had the opposite effect that you intended.
        As promised, here you go: You are a bigoted ass hat. You come on here and make racial slurs and remarks all while trying to talk as if you were in some position of superiority. Even worse, you talk down to a group of people who in all likelihood, would mop the floor with you. Their hobbies include being outside, hunting, chasing, or tracking animals. Yours? You read books about magic and princesses and dragons. Obviously, I don’t know you, but if someone with your hobbies was to go up against someone with hunting and such as their hobbies…I’d say the smart money was on the hunter. There are exceptions to every rule though. The best thing you could do for humanity is stay a virgin. Never procreate…ever. The last thing this world needs is more assholes like you.

    • Desjay Desjay

      Your post seems really focused on “being a man”, and even has a real
      poor definition of “Being a man” by your comments about PETA,
      Assbandits, et al.
      Funny that you support a show full of Men with smelly beards, but put down a show that’s full of T&A (game of thrones).

      I suspect your overreaction about Manly men, and stupid shows with naked
      women in them is probably what’s known as “Reaction Formation”, a
      psychological term that describes a “defense mechanism in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions and impulses are mastered by exaggeration of the directly opposing tendency.”

      An example is like when Televangelists or Republicans condemn people for being gay, when it turns out they’re gay themselves, or your post.

      • johnjohnphenom

        I don’t follow this show I think it’s a cultural phenomenon and I don’t understand the appeal, much like game of thrones. I was making a statement sitting on the shitter because I was bored, just like now. I do not agree with homosexuality and that doesn’t make me a bad person it makes me a person. I was trolling the editor Ben because I have come across a few of his articles and I recognized that he always sides with the “victims” of somebody else’s stupidity without forming an opinion of his own, much like one would do in high school for popularity. I am proud to be a man, a man who happens to like his Tits and ass in the real world and his television programs to be of quality. So have a coke and a smile and shut the fuck up. I gotta flush, I just dropped a bomb.

        • Desjay Desjay

          Still obsessing about Buttholes I see.

          • johnjohnphenom

            only your moms

  • Mrteapot

    A&E like the history channel use to have quality learning programs on there network, but for ratings they provide slack jawed shows to cater to the lowest common denominator of entertainment.
    Like dog the bounty hunter if these morons bring them $$$ they are very forgiving, for there sake and there employees they need to keep tabs on there religious and political views…cause theres enough idiots on fox news for that. Continue hunting ducks and chasing bail jumpers that’s all your good for :-)

    • Jack Bandit

      You know, there is typically only one occasion where I call out spelling and grammar errors. It’s when people such as yourself, try and call or imply that someone else is stupid. Seriously, look at this shit! Do you honestly believe that you’re giving significant social commentary? On top of that, there’s the fact that you continuously beat a dead horse with the whole Fox News tripe. In case you just haven’t watched the news in the passed 6 years, Bush is not the president and Fox isn’t the whipping boy anymore. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, MSNBC is what Fox News was. But whatever, keep spouting off those cliches if it makes you feel as if you have some sort of relevance.
      And, please for the love of God, learn the difference between THEY’RE, THERE & THEIR. Learn the difference between YOUR & YOU’RE. Lastly, learn what punctuation is and how to fucking use it!

  • Scott West

    You know I always believed it was anyones right to hate who they wanted as long as they didnt discriminate. But if you ask me A&E discriminated against haters.

    • Mrteapot

      Discriminate: make an unjust or prejudicial distinction
      in the treatment of different categories of
      people or things, esp. on the grounds of
      race, sex, or age.

      I don’t see “hate on haters”
      A point the author points out, say some offensive things at work you most likely be terminated….in this case when moneys invovled alls forgiven. Hypocrisy

      • Jack Bandit

        You copied/pasted that definition. There’s nothing wrong with that, it was just an observation. That section is spelled correctly and has proper grammar. While the rest of your comment…well, you get the idea. Anyway, don’t let me interrupt your ignorant comment streak. Proceed, sir.

  • BobGyro

    Kids learn early sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me !!! Why do adults lose sight of this?
    Quit whining people and blowing some words way out of proportion .. If Phil Robertson was not famous you would never have heard about such comments, hence not have had a reason to whine and snivel like children. OHHH my god what did he say???? can’t believe he said that !!! Grow up society!

  • Alex

    Not surprised at all, it is A&E after-all, not exactly a top or even medium tiered channel since they removed the “arts” part of their brand. But, they did just cave in to rednecks and that tells me a lot. I’ve never watched this ducks show, and I don’t think I’ve deliberately went on A&E in ages, but…in 2013 to cave to bible quoting homophobic bigots and their support base is an all low even for the likes of A&E.

  • tankdemon

    Did you really believe A&E had any intention of airing any episodes without Phil? When they announced his “suspension” most of the next season’s shows had already been taped. They already had the timeline in mind when they would announce his suspension was being lifted, which would have been before taping of new episodes commenced. Yes, the popular outcry of support probably pushed up that timeline, but it didn’t have any effect on whether Phil would appear on the show. The only reason A&E told GLAAD that they would suspend Phil was the same reason that a parent tells a whiny three year old “maybe,” which is to get them to shut up for about the topic for now and hope they don’t bring it up again later.

  • http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD

    Actually, I think if the average person made the exact same comments at their place of work, not a single person would give it a second thought.

    This was one giant, media-manufactured, piece of ‘buzz.’ Everyone knew A&E wasn’t going to keep him off the show. Most intelligent people realized that Phil was expressing his view on the subject, not persecuting gays. And most idiots put their true colors on display over this.

  • Tim Green

    Wow.. some of you are clueless on how this whole entertainment business thing works.. if a network is paying you big bucks, don’t go and say something stupid that will make headlines. As simple as that. You people could complicate it all you want, call the network out for whatever reason.. when it comes down to it, its just buisness. “What about freedom of speech and beliefs?” That doesn’t matter when you sign a contract for a huge amount of money, that most likely strictly tells you to not do or say anything that could make the network look bad. Yes that should involve not putting homosexuality and beastiality in the same sentence, or saying black people were happier as slaves.. haha I mean come on people. Are you that simple you can’t tell the difference between freedom of speech and taking a shit on a networks image?