Phil Robertson, the Robertson family patriarch, has been reinstated on “Duck Dynasty” following a brief suspension over anti-gay remarks he made in an interview with GQ.
A&E, the network that airs the popular reality show, announced the small screen personality’s impending return on Friday.
“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,’” the network said in a statement. “We at A&E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.”
The network said “Duck Dynasty” is not about “one man’s views,” but centered around a family.
“[The show] resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love,” the statement continued. “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.”
A&E said that after consulting with “numerous advocacy groups,” and speaking with the Robertson family, they have decided to end Phil’s suspension and resume filming “later this spring.”
The network also promised to launch a public service campaign to promote “unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.”