Last month, television network A&E suspended Phil Robertson from the popular show Duck Dynasty. The suspension followed Robertson’s controversial comments in a January GQ magazine article. Robertson made several statements in the interview regarding sexuality, religion, and race that were perceived negatively by groups such as the NAACP, GLAAD, and Human Rights Campaign, which wrote letters to A&E. The network’s decision to put the Robertson patriarch on hiatus, however, seemed to draw even more criticism, this time from the show’s fans.

The fan reaction to the suspension of one of Duck Dynasty’s most iconic characters was overwhelmingly negative. Many thought that the suspension was a move by A&E to censor Robertson and Duck Dynasty in general. The show’s social media properties were swamped with calls to bring Robertson back to the show and after a nine-day hiatus, A&E decided to reinstate Robertson.

“We’re just glad to be back to work, and A&E and us are fine,” said Willie Robertson, son and heir of Phil Robertson’s duck call empire.

The younger Robertson finally spoke out about the situation during a live interview with Fox News hosts Bill Hemmer and Elizabeth Hasselbeck on New Year’s Eve.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to making some funny shows. It’s a new year so we’re ready to break in a New Year and start it all over again,” Willie Robertson said. “We’re ready to move on, you know. I think we all learned a lot and we’re just ready to move on, and the family’s happy, and we’re ready to go.”

Throughout Phil Robertson’s nine-day suspension, his large family was eager to support him and their shared values. The family previously stated that it could not see Duck Dynasty moving forward without Phil Robertson at the helm, and was a major force in pushing for his return. Many of the Robertsons’ sponsors and business partners also stuck by the family during their time of need, including notable companies such as Under Armour and Realtree.

“Realtree’s partnership with Phil Robertson and the Duck Commander team has remained strong for nearly a decade. Our plan is to continue that partnership. As a company, our values align well with the Robertson’s. Realtree’s ‘Family, Friends and the Outdoors’ slogan is one we take to heart. We support everyone’s right to their opinion, and we certainly support Phil’s right to his,” the company stated on its website.

The Robertsons’ duck call business, Duck Commander, has also partnered with Mossberg for a new line of firearms.

In contrast, some of the groups that initially called for Phil Robertson’s removal from the show have expressed disapproval for his reinstatement. Others see the dialogue created by the stir as a positive step.

“We’ve received assurances also that the Robertson family is now open to working with African-American and (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people to address the real harm that such anti-gay and racist comments can cause,” Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Fred Sainz said on CNN. “That’s been our ‘ask’ since Phil’s comments ran in GQ, and while it’s a positive step, it certainly cannot and should not be the last one.”

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6 thoughts on “Phil Robertson Returns to ‘Duck Dynasty,’ Family Speaks about Hiatus

  1. Common sense has once again prevailed. No one on either side wants to lose the revenue. Having said that, HRC, GLAAD, et. al, needs to realize that they are not the only folks with First Amendment rights. They can disagree all they want, but cannot muzzle Phil or anybody else as long as this the USA.

  2. He did not make a “racist” comment. He made a personal observation that may be different from other people’s personal observations, but that does not make him or his comments racist. As far as LGBT groups are concerned, somehow they have to get the message that it is not wrong to disagree with them, and disagreement does not constitute hate. It is a great tactic for them. It works like a charm. They essentially intimidate people into being afraid to voice their own opinion that the lifestyle of those in the LGBT community is immoral and wrong. No one attacks me (in fact most agree) when I say that I believe prostitution to be immoral and wrong. As a culture, we in America agree that bigamy is immoral and wrong. I get laughed at when I say that a man having sex with multiple women is wrong. But somehow, when you say that homosexuality is wrong, you are attacked and intimidated. This has to stop. I hope the Robertson’s will not “work with” the LGBT community to do anything other than, with love in their heart, continue to tell them that what they are doing is wrong and immoral. If that is truly the Robertson’s belief, then that is what they should feel absolutely comfortable and within their right to continue saying. If that disgusts people, then don’t watch their show or buy their merchandise. Otherwise, you’re just another tyrant who believes his opinion is the only one that matters. That’s not democracy, and it’s certainly not freedom.

  3. If I ever had to pick between the character and morals of Phil Robertson and family and GLAAD, my vote and support totally goes with the Robertsons. All left-wing, progressive, hate America groups like GLAAD want is for everyone to be exactly like them and allow them to be the only ones to speak. One day the majority of people in this country will tire of the left-wing pap and send them packing.

  4. First Amendment prevails. About time! GLADD pack your zip lock bags and please go back in the closet where you belong. America is a lot better off without your agenda. America is for men and women not the undefined. Please leave raising the children to the males and females not the freaks. Hopefully science will find a cure for the homos and rid our world of these extremely disgusting disease. God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. God bless America and all heterosexual’s world wide!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Suspension of freedom of speech by the thought and political correctness police continue. Of course the groups that are complaining of being offended aren’t part of Duck Dynasty’s audience anyway.

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