New Media Victory: A&E Lifts 'Duck Dynasty' Star's Suspension
Phil Robertson can go back to work thanks, in part, to New Media outlets which rallied to the reality star's side.
A&E announced it will resume filming Duck Dynasty, along with family patriarch Phil Robertson, in the spring. The show had "indefinitely suspended" Robertson earlier this month after an interview he gave to GQ magazine hit the news cycle. The unabashed Christian called gay sex, along with greed and adultery, a sin and wondered how a man could prefer another man's anus to a woman's vagina.
The network quickly suspended Robertson while media outlets misrepresented his comments in standard, pile-on fashion. That wasn't a match for the show's rabid fan base, which signed online petitions en masse to get Robertson back on the air, showed their love for him via Facebook, and plotted an appreciation day for their hirsute hero.
Breitbart News ran more than 35 stories related to the suspension since the news hit Dec. 19.
Here's A&E's statement on its decision:
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.