In spite of the fact that A&E has announced that Phil Robertson of A&E's hit show Duck Dynasty has been "suspended indefinitely," expect to see Robertson on the show starting again on Jan. 15 according to a report in Entertainment Weekly published Monday.
There is no real "suspension" of Robertson, as A&E attempts to put out the media fire. Apparently, the suspension was for public consumption only. It appears that the mission has been accomplished. An inside source from the cable channel is understood to have told Entertainment Weekly that the cast member is likely to return complete a fifth season.
Duck Dynasty is in the middle of its fourth season and currently averaging an incredible 14.6 million viewers when including seven days of DVR playback. Nine of its remaining 10 episodes have already been shot. By the time the ninth episode is shown, the furor would have dissipated.
An anonymous source told Entertainment Weekly that "There's no negotiation to have; we're doing the show." The source added the network hopes the media and fan furor will cool down over the Christmas season and that "tensions over shooting future episodes can then be resolved."
"We'll figure out a solution. It's just not going to happen overnight. Everybody will take a break for the holidays and regroup afterward. That's probably the smartest thing for everyone to do. Time heals a lot of wounds. An inside source from the cable channel is understood to have said the cast member is likely to return in the fifth season, which is set to premiere on Jan. 15.
A&E said at the time of the suspension announcement, "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
At the time of the announcement, an A&E spokesperson confirmed this statement means exactly what it says: Robertson is off the show for an as-yet-undetermined period of time. The rest of his family will continue on the reality series. However the family has made clear it will not proceed without Robertson.
There are other options for the family, such as another network. However, A&E is not expected to allow that to happen. Complicating matters for the network, an apology from Robertson or the family is unlikely.
An apology would be out of character.
The furor over the series has exploded as a right-wing debate on Fox News and online conservative sites. The fight is over 1st amendment rights, with a cast of extremist, far-right conservatives, a who's who of the conservative movement: Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Todd Stames, Mark Levin, Monica Crowley and so many others.
Huffington Post - Robertson to return
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.