Gay Issues

A&E Brings Phil Robertson Back to 'Duck Dynasty,' Plans to Lecture America on Tolerance

| by Michael Allen

"Duck Dynasty" Star Phil Robertson, who compared gay people to terrorists and bestiality, has had his suspension lifted by A&E Networks.

The suspension began on Dec. 18 following Robertson's statements to GQ magazine. In that interview, Robertson also claimed black people were "singing" and "happy" under racist Jim Crow laws, noted TalkingPointsMemo.com.

An A&E statement to The Hollywood Reporter boasted of A&E's own "core values" that are "centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect."

A&E then falsely claimed it reacted "quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson," which was only a suspension from non-filming days.

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The upcoming fifth season was not affected in any way because "Duck Dynasty" has been on hiatus for duck hunting season, which continues through Jan. 26 in Louisiana.

A&E added, "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."

A&E then stated it would "launch a national public service campaign 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."

However, Robertson's attacks against gay people and false statements about black people are contrary to A&E's upcoming public service campaign.

There have been numerous online petitions demanding that Robertson be allowed back on the show and at one point his family said: "We cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm."

Robertson has also seen support from Fox News, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) and the Christian-based ministry Focus on the Family, which sent out an e-newsletter this morning praising Robertson for his anti-gay comments:

Just ask television's "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson and Chick-fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy. Both men encountered cultural backlash targeting their businesses—instigated by homosexual activists—when they "dared" to speak publicly about God's design for sexuality.

However, Robertson's business Duck Commander was not targeted by "homosexual activists." Focus on the Family also failed to address Robertson's claims that black people enjoyed racist Jim Crow laws.

Sources: Deadline.com, FocusontheFamily.com, TalkingPointsMemo.com, The Hollywood Reporter