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Phil Robertson's suspension lifted by A&E

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A&E channel called off the suspension of Phil Robertson in a statement late Friday after criticism from "Duck Dynasty" fans, according to USA Today on Dec. 27.

Phil Robertson was put on "indefinite" suspension by A&E on Dec. 18 after a controversial interview with GQ Magazine where he made some anti-gay comments.

Robertson defended his statements, saying they were based on his personal religious beliefs and teachings of the Bible, but following protests from human-rights groups, A&E announced that Robertson would be suspended from future episodes.

In a statement by the entire Robertson family on Dec. 19, they admitted that their patriarch used "coarse language" during the interview, but also said that "Phil would never incite or encourage hate".

The Robertson family also said in the statement that they would rather walk away from the show than continue filming without Phil.

In a statement on Friday issued by the network, A&E again expressed their disappointment in the statements Robertson made in the interview, and made it clear that they are not "views we hold".

A&E's statement then went on to say that "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."

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.

"Duck Dynasty" fans and Robertson family supporters attempted a boycott against the network after Phil's indefinite hiatus and collected more than 250,000 signatures for Phil's reinstatement.

"Duck Dynasty" is currently the second most popular show on cable TV behind "The Walking Dead". Both A&E and the Robertson family stood to lose millions of dollars during the stand-off.

Currently, nine of the 10 episodes of the fifth season have been filmed and will begin airing on Jan. 15.


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