Less than two weeks after his anti-gay remarks prompted an “indefinite hiatus” for the reality patriarch, and a strong fan backlash, the network says he will remain on the series.
Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s Duck Dynasty clan who was suspended from his hit reality series on Dec. 18 following some incendiary comments about gay people, won’t be put on hiatus after all.
The network and the Robertson family announced Friday that Phil will still be part of the series — and since he didn’t miss any filming, his temporary suspension will have no effect on the upcoming fifth season.
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.