A&E has allowed “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson to return to the show despite controversial comments made in an interview with GQ regarding homosexuality and African-Americans. A&E put Robertson on a hiatus immediately after the interview went public. The network said that his comments are not in line with the network’s own values, but decided that the comments should not affect his casting.
“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 homes, and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principles,” said A&E in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
“Duck Dynasty” will resume filming this spring with the whole Robertson family. A&E said that they will be launching a series of public service ads across their network to promote tolerance. “Duck Dynasty” is A&E’s top show and the season four premiere brought in 11.8 million views, which is more than the Breaking Bad finale.