'Duck Dynasty': A&E Lifts the Phil Robertson Suspension


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”.

Tags: A&E Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson

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