What a crock of sh*t. After just 9 days, A&E has caved on suspending Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson from the show for spewing hateful ignorance. This means he will miss zero airtime when the show resumes its new season in a couple of weeks. Even worse, the company announced the move in a mealy mouthed press release that attempts to make it sound like it’s doing the right and moral thing by bringing him back, because letting Phil Robertson back on the show is the essence of tolerance — or something.
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.
Let’s be real here…this is all about the Benjamins, baby. Rumors have been circulating for days that if A&E didn’t bring Phil Robertson back, that he and the family would take the show to another network, possibly even Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze network, where they’d be uninhibited in spewing the word of Bible, including the kooky parts. So fearing the cash cow was about to wander to another greener pasture, the network caved. Period.
Oh, and announcing this after 5pm on a Friday that’s sandwiched between Christmas and New Year’s is about as chicken sh*t as it gets. Go f*ck yourself, A&E.