Phil Robertson's suspension didn't last long. The A&E network has reinstated him him to Duck Dynasty.
Unless you've been on an extended Christmas duck hunting trip or perhaps somewhere else for a long period of time, you probably are aware that the Duck Dynasty star was put on indefinite hiatus from the top-rated A&E reality show for controversial statements about the gay lifestyle published in GQ magazine.
Gay advocacy groups demanding he be removed permanently from the show and also contacted Duck Dynasty sponsors to insist they stop advertising on the program. In the meantime, while not backing down from his comments that have sparked nationwide headlines, Phill Roberston defended himself by saying that "I'm a lover, not a hater."
Millions of fans have come to Robertson's defense on social media, and the Cracker Barrel restaurant did a quick 180 and dropped plans to remove Duck Dynasty products from the shelves of its gift shops.
The Robertson family subsequently indicated that it would not go forward with the reality show if Phil was excluded, raising the possibility of Duck Dynasty moving to another network.
In a long statement today, A&E formally announced that the Phil Robertson suspension was over. The statement read in part:
"... 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."
Despite the controversy, A&E ran a Duck Dynasty marathon over the Christmas holiday.
Do you agree or disagree with A&E's decision to reinstate Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty?