The Cable network A and E announced today that when they resume filming of Duck Dynasty in the Spring, Phil Robertson will be a part of the show. The Ducky Dynasty patriarch was suspended from the network last week over his expressed opinions and Biblical quotes about gay marriage. Some very vocal gay groups put pressure on A and E to suspend Phil. It seems A and E had no idea of the backlash they would face from the public when they bowed to this small minority. Conservatives across the country pledged to boycott the network until A and E reinstated Phil. Advertisers on the show supported conservatives and urged the network to reinstate the family leader. Duck Dynasty has the largest audience of any reality show ever, over 11.5 million people tune in every week to watch the Robertson family. A and E played this wrong from beginning to end.
This afternoon the A and E network released this statement:
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.
How rare, and how welcome, conservatives won one against the loud, liberal, loonies. We’re more powerful than we think!
Phil Robertson as a young man:
Phil Roberston’s picture in high school: Phil Robertson’s picture in college at Louisiana Tech 1967
A very handsome man!