The A&E network has suddenly reversed its widely panned decision to “indefinitely suspend” Duck Dynasty family patriarch Phil Robertson and has announced that Robertson is now back on the show.
A&E must have thought it could quietly announce that it had reversed its decision to suspend Phil Robertson by making an announcement late on Friday.
Following Obama’s well known practice of dumping government documents into public view late on Friday after most DC reporters have left for the weekend, A&E made its announcement late on Friday hoping no one would notice. But it’s no dice. The whole world has heard the news making it look like A&E is one of the biggest fools in the entertainment industry.
A&E was slammed by millions of Duck Dynasty fans for its knee-jerk, PC decision to suspend Robertson for his Biblically-based comments on homosexuality. Responding to left-wing complaints over what Robertson said to GQ magazine, the network quickly dumped Pappa Phil from his show.
But as soon as the network made this announcement, the rest of the Robertson clan warned A&E that they would rather lose their show and stand by Phil than break their religious beliefs and back away from Biblical teachings. The family said that they would not leave the head of their family twisting in the wind and go on filming the show without him.
The network was suddenly in the unenviable position of either losing a $500 million show, or looking good to liberals who don’t watch the show and aren’t fans of the network anyway!
Here is A&E’s statement according to The Hollywood Reporter:
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.
(See also: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Stars Risking $500 Million Empire)
This is an epic collapse of resolve on A&E’s behalf. The fans of Duck Dynasty will love this decision, of course, and the left will lose its tiny collective mind over it all, but what this really shows is that the egg is on A&E’s face, not that of the Robertson family.
It’s epic fail all the way around for A&E, but they did the right thing in the end by giving their fans what they want, a Duck Dynasty sticking true to its faith.
A&E isn’t the only corporation that initially went to dump the Robertsons but quickly changed its mind when customers rose up against the decision. Cracker Barrel restaurants also announced a decision to eliminate Phil Robertson products from its gift shops. But only two days later the company changed its mind when customers rose up en masse against the decision.
What do you think? Are you glad this is finally over and that the Robertsons are the victors? Tell us below.
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