Phil Robertson to resume 'Duck Dynasty' filming
A&E Network announced on Friday that Phil Robertson will resume filming the current season of "Duck Dynasty" after a brief suspension for remarks about blacks and gays he made in an interviiew with GQ.
The "Duck Dynasty" family says they are excited to return to work after A&E Network announced Friday it would resume filming their hit show with Phil Robertson next spring in a reversal of its decision last week to suspend him for comments he made about homosexuality.
In an exclusive statement to FoxNews.com, the family said it was "excited to keep making a quality TV show for our dedicated fans, who have showed us wonderful support. We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through 'Duck Dynasty' and our many projects that we are currently working on.
"The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly."
Robertson had been indefinitely suspended by the network on Dec. 18 for remarks he made in an interview with GQ Magazine.
The removal of the 67-year-old family patriarch triggered support from gay rights organizations but objections from many fans of the show, including political figures such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The fifth season of the family series originally had been scheduled to start Jan. 15 but until Friday's announcement, its future had been uncertain, since the family had said it could not imagine going forward without Robertson.
In a statement released late Friday afternoon, A&E said, "While Phil's comments made in the (GQ) 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.'"
The network added that "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.
Devout Christians appear to be scary people to leftists and TV networks. But the outcry against Robertson's thoughts on sin and the Bible was not driven by outrage, but by cold calculation. It's clear by this statement by a gay advocacy group that nothing less than sackcloth, ashes, and an acknowledgement of their superior moral standing will suffice in "punishing" Mr. Robertson for his thoughts:
In a statement Friday night to Fox News, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination said "dialog" between Robertson and the black and gay communities was a critical next step.
"Phil Robertson should look African-American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists," the statement said. "If dialog with Phil is not part of next steps, then A&E has chosen profits over African-American and gay people -- especially its employees and viewers.
Robertson did not "compare" gay people to terrorists. That's a wild exaggeration and a deliberate, gross oversimplification of what he said.
But the advocates are not interested in accuracy or in understanding. Theirs is a power play, pure and simple - an attempt to insert themselves at the highest level into a controversy largely created by their calculated reaction to some ill chosen words by Mr. Robertson. They don't want "dialog." They want to be able to chastise Robertson publicly - to shame him, humiliate him and by extension, shame and humilate devout Christians everywhere.
This time, it blew up in their faces.