According to Fox News on Dec. 27, Phil Robertson's suspension from A&E's "Duck Dynasty" has been lifted. He had been indefinitely suspended by the network on Dec. 18 for comments he made about homosexuality and blacks in an interview with GQ Magazine.
The suspension of the 67-year-old family patriarch triggered comments from those who agreed with the suspension as well as those who disagreed with the suspension.
Even former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and civil rights activist and Baptist minister Rev. Jesse Jackson weighed in on the decision. There were various comments on social media both for and against the suspension.
The fifth season of "Duck Dynasty" will start on Jan. 15 as originally scheduled. Up until today, the show's future was in jeopardy because the family stuck together and could not see continuing to do the show without Robertson.
The statement from A&E that was released late Friday afternoon said:
“While Phil's comments made in the (GQ) interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the ‘coarse language’ he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would ‘never incite or encourage hate.’"
A&E further explained that “Duck Dynasty" is not a show about one man's opinions. "Duck Dynasty" has a large audience because it is a family show that America has grown to love. In many of the episodes the family comes together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. A&E says those are the same values they also feel strongly about.
Before making the decision to lift Robertson's suspension, there were discussions with the Robertson family and a number of advocacy groups.
So, those who have become accustomed to seeing Phil Robertson on "Duck Dynasty," you will still have the opportunity to do so.