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A&E lifts suspension, welcomes Phil Robertson back to Duck Dynasty

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On Friday, the Hollywood Reporter said that after just a few days, A&E has lifted their suspension of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson and welcomed him back to the network.

Since Robertson didn't miss any filming, Hollywood Reporter said, his temporary suspension won't have any impact on the upcoming season.

According to a statement released by A&E, Robertson and his family said they regret his "coarse language" and "the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article."

Robertson was suspended based on frank comments he made about homosexuality that were published by GQ magazine.

"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," the network added in its statement.

"But," A&E said, "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."

After consulting with the Robertsons and "numerous" advocacy groups, the network decided to resume filming this spring with all of the Duck Dynasty cast -- including Phil.

A&E also said it would launch a national public service campaign to promote unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message, A&E said "supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty."

A source at A&E also told Hollywood Reporter that the network and the Robertsons would work together to promote tolerance moving forward. The Hollywood Reporter did not say if that included tolerance of certain Christian points of view.

After A&E suspended Robertson, a grassroots movement to boycott the network exploded across social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

One page, "Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck Dynasty," grew to more than 1.7 million supporters and another, called "We Stand with Phil," grew to more than 1.5 million. Several other pages have sprung up and have received a large following.

A Facebook event, "Chick-Phil-A" day asking supporters to wear Duck Dynasty gear while eating at a Chick-fil-A restaurant, attracted over 60,000 participants.

The Hollywood Reporter said the Robertson family has been on hiatus for duck-hunting season. The network has also aired encore episodes of the wildly popular show and held a Duck Dynasty marathon on Christmas.

Canceling or delaying the Jan. 15 season-five premiere, The Hollywood Reporter added, "never seemed to be on the table."

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