Cooler heads prevailed after the holidays in the ‘Duck Dynasty’ saga that began over a week ago when A&E suspended Phil Robertson from the show over comments made in an upcoming issue of GQ. After the announcement, #StandWithPhil trended for days, IStandWithPhil.com was created, Change.org petitions gathered countless signatures, and the family issued a statement saying they couldn’t imagine the show going on without him.
When the show’s ratings plummeted, A&E released the following statement on December 27, 2013, reinstating Phil to the show:
An A&E statement to The Hollywood Reporter read:
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 homes, and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principles.
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 misinterpretation 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.
In addition, an A&E source says the family and the network are going to work together to promote tolerance.
What do you think about the very public, very heated ‘Duck Dynasty’ saga? Share your thoughts in the comments below.