The A&E network has decided not to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, after saying they were putting him on indefinite hiatus following his controversial comments about homosexual sex.
In a statement, the network attempted to explain why they “reacted so quickly” to Robertson’s interview with GQ magazine but also confirmed that they plan to resume filming with the entire Robertson family as scheduled later this spring.
-RELATED: Phil Robertson Speaks Out at Church Group: ‘I Am a Lover of Humanity, Not a Hater’
Read the full statement from A&E below:
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.
The Robertson family has been on a contractually-stipulated hiatus for duck hunting season since the story broke on December 18th, so with the news that the show will resume filming on schedule, it does not appear that the “suspension” affected the network’s ability to deliver the show on time.
[photo via A&E]
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