After being suspended by A&E for an interview he gave with GQ magazine, where he made anti-gay comments, today the network released a statement saying he would return to the show in 2014. A&E says the network will begin airing PSAs that promote "unity, tolerance and acceptance." A&E released the following statement:
As a global media content company, A+E Networksâ€™ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into peopleâ€™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 Philâ€™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 â€ścoarse languageâ€ť he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would â€śnever incite or encourage hate.â€ť 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 manâ€™s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about familyâ€¦ 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.