Phil Robertson Back On ‘Duck Dynasty’
Phil Robertson, who was suspended from filming of cable's #1 show, 'Duck Dynasty,' earlier this month after comments he made in a GQ interview about his views, and his Biblical interpretation of, homosexuality, is back.
Robertson is the family patriarch, and the family made it clear after his suspension that they would not continue the show without him.
A&E suspended Robertson on the same day the interview was published online after an outcry, particularly by LGBT advocate groups. After the announcement of his suspension, however, more outcry came -- this time, from fans of the show and "freedom of speech" advocates.
While it is quite clear the suspension was not a legal violation of Robertson's freedom of speech, many saw the network's move as an attempt to silence personal expression, particularly as it had religious undertones that are not considered "popular" by today's standards.
In an announcement Friday evening, A&E cited Phil Robertson's "regret" of coarse language he used in the interview and his vocal pledge to never incite or encourage hate. A&E's statement also read "As you might have seen in many episodes, [the Robertsons] 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."
Season 5 of Duck Dynasty begins on January 15th and will include Phil Robertson, as previously announced. The show will begin filming again in the spring with the entire family.
'Duck Dynasty' averages 13.4 million viewers per episode.