After a national debate about sexual moral and values following A&E’s decision to kick Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson off of the program, the cable television channel has relented and issued a statement late Friday welcoming him back.
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 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.
Robertson said he was sticking by controversial comments he made about moral issues in an interview with GQ magazine that has caused a national and international furor. TV network A&E suspended Robertson from the show over the comments.
Robertson talked about sexual purity in the interview, saying, “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. 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.”
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
In a video featuring Duck Dynasty’s Robertson, the TV star – in what appears to be a religious sermon – declares his pro-life stance on the issue of abortion. When discussing the ethics of, and that there’s even a debate on, the issue, he asks, “What in the world happened to us?”
“Listen, from the time you started inside your mother’s womb, Thomas Jefferson had it right, you have the God-given right to life for crying out loud. You’re this long (pointing to his finger). You’re a week old inside your mother. They suck you out of there when you’re about like that (point to finger again). You wouldn’t be here tonight!
“And, when you got to be the size of my thumb, they suck you out. You wouldn’t be here. Then, you grow a little bigger, like my fist – and finally eight, nine months later you come out.