Nevermind: A&E unsuspends Phil Robertson

Does A&E have a spelunking reality show because they’re gonna need one to keep track of ALL THE CAVES.

A week after the patriarch of A&E’s ratings juggernaut “Duck Dynasty” family was indefinitely suspended by the network for comments he made about homosexuality in a magazine interview, Robertson is back. Now, the national firestorm that erupted over A&E’s hasty disciplining of the reality star will no doubt erupt again, this time for its hasty reinstatement of him. Because how could the screaming elements of the Left possibly allow a person with views different from their own to be on TV and respond by simply not watching or writing a scathing HuffPost comment about how icky they think he is. No, that would never do.

The network’s full statement, via Mediaite.

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.

So, we’ve got some public lauding of the Robertson family, even noting they “come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance, and forgiveness,” which is bound to rankle the very people who rejoiced in Phil’s suspension because it uses the approved language of the left to applaud a Christian family. One assumes the Robertson family, already millionaires outside of TV, at least threatened to walk during this debacle. “Duck Dynasty’s” millions upon millions of viewers certainly did. Hence, a Christmas week news dump reinstatement of Phil.

A&E will be producing fluffly PSAs to assure everyone they believe in tolerance or something. Which, if they did, they could have illustrated it by saying, “Hey, yes, we disagree with Phil’s beliefs but don’t think it rises to a fireable offense that he’s talking about them in public. The Robertsons are actually a pretty cool and caring family, as the millions who watch every week know.” But tolerance in the public parlance doesn’t actually mean the tolerance of people with differing views and lifestyles. “Tolerance” is a system of enforced celebration, and nothing short of celebration will be tolerated. I wonder if these PSAs come with a complementary sizeable donation to GLAAD? A “multimillion dollar protection racket’s” gotta rake it in somehow.

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