A&E has reversed their decision to suspend Phil Robertson from their hit reality show Duck Dynasty.
In a statement released Friday evening, A&E said that they decided to lift Phil Robertson’s ban from the show because Duck Dynasty is a group effort.
“Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views,” they said. “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.”
A&E then confirmed that Duck Dynasty will resume filming in the new year with Robertson. “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.”
The network also announced that they will kick off a public service campaign to promote unity and tolerance. “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.”
Robertson was banned from Duck Dynasty earlier this month after making comments to GQ magazine that were considered homophobic. His opinions on homosexuals didn’t come as a shock to most people because those in the deep south – in most cases – are deeply attached to their religion. Following Phil’s suspension, the Robertson family released a statement in which they threatened to not carry on with the show if Phil wasn’t allowed back.
Duck Dynasty is one of the most popular shows on cable television. The season 4 premiere back in August pulled in nearly 12 million viewers.
A&E was essentially forced into bringing Robertson back. Duck Dynasty is their most popular show, and it looks like the family were refusing to continue without him.