After a week-long “culture war” and you having numerous uncomfortable conversations with your family members over the holidays, A&E has finally caved and reinstated Phil Robertson to Duck Dynasty…meaning the Dynasty patriarch will miss a grand total of zero episodes.
Whichever PR pro at A&E that wrote the statement regarding the network’s decision certainly earned their Christmas bonus. Incredible backpedaling and cognitive dissonance in 3…2…1…
“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 home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.
“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 mis-interpretation 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.”
For a moment there, it really did seem like Duck Dynasty was going to be canceled and fall victim to Newton’s First law of pop culture: “A pop culture phenomenon will remain in motion indefinitely until acted on by an ill-thought out controversial statement.” But it turns out that Louisiana duck hunters with outrageously flamboyant beards are just immune. Your move, Paula Deen.
Duck Dynasty is astonishingly popular, which might surprise anyone who isn’t currently living at a Wal Mart. It’s one of cable TV’s most watched shows, averaging around 14 million viewers an episode and only losing consistently to AMC’s The Walking Dead
If you weren’t keeping score at home: Robertson got himself in trouble during an interview with GQ’s Drew Margary, in which he shared his, um…questionable views on homosexuals and the civil rights movement.
A&E followed swiftly by placing Robertson on suspension, while Sarah Palin and company turned the Robertson family into the next Chik-fil-a “traditional values” rallying point.
Maybe the architect of “Chik-Phil-A” day will now cancel the January 21 event. Just kidding. People are the worst and everything is terrible.
No word yet on if anyone has told the Robertson family that ducks are one of many animal species that exhibit homosexual behavior.