Phil Robertson Returns to 'Duck Dynasty'
A&E is willing to let bygones be bygones with regard to Phil Robertson's controversial comments about gay people, telling ET that they will resume filming Duck Dynasty with the Robertson patriarch.
"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 said in a statement on Friday.
This news follows their statement less than two weeks ago, claiming that Phil would be suspended from shooting episodes of the popular reality show.
A&E explained the decision, saying, "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."
The GQ article in question features Phil comparing homosexuality to bestiality, saying, "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
A&E went on to state their ongoing plan to promote tolerance, saying that they will 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."
As cable's No. 1 reality show, Duck Dynasty re-runs have continued to air through the holidays despite the controversy. The new season is set to premiere January 15.