Earlier today, A&E defined the terms of his suspension:
As a global media content company, A+E Networks' core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people's homes, and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principles.
That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil's comments made in the 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." We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
But 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.
So 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.
We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.Keep in mind, Robertson was suspended for 1 1/2 weeks. Production was already halted during that time period due to Christmas. My understand is that at least one new episode of the reality TV show aired during that time period with Phil Robertson in it. A&E also had back-to-back marathons of the program throughout the Christmas break.
I know I was being cynical for suggesting that this whole dust-up was manufactured by the network, by the production team, and by the Duck Dynasty family, but I don't believe that I am wrong about that. It ensured a nice culture war reaction right before Christmas when lots of people were looking for Duck Dynasty products to purchase from Wal-Mart and lots of time to watch something on cable TV. They got lots of people talking about the show. And the entire family will return to produce new episodes early next year.