In a little less than two weeks, A&E has lifted its indefinite suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. In its statement released today, Dec. 27, the network stated:
"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."
Phil Roberston was suspended from the popular show over an interview with the magazine GQ where he stated his stance on homosexuality based on his biblical beliefs. After outcry from some advocacy groups the network issued a statement that Robertson was "indefinitely" suspended.
However, that suspension led to much anger by fans of the popular show and those who felt Robertson was being targeted for his bibilcal stance. There were calls to boycott A&E and a Facebook site, I Stand With Phil, has reached more than one million "likes."
The gossip site TMZ also accused the network of being hypocritical for running a Duck Dynasty marathon while Robertson was suspended. The Robertson family also issued a statement that they could imagine the show going on without Phil Roberston. The family also said that although Phil Robertson’s comments may have been course, his beliefs "are grounded’’ in the Bible and he ‘‘is a Godly man.’’
Earlier in the week Cracker Barrel, who had removed Phil Roberston merchandise from their shelves also reversed themselves and returned the items after customer outcry and a call to boycott their restaurants.
After much backlash against the network, Duck Dynasty will return for its new season in January with all family members, including patriarch Phil. Duck Dynasty is the No. 2 series on cable TV and average more than 13 million viewers.