A&E CAVED! Duck Dynasty back with Phil


I guess they want their profits more than they want to pander to the… other thing.

From Hollywood Reporter:

Less than two weeks after his anti-gay remarks prompted an “indefinite hiatus” for the reality patriarch — and a strong fan backlash — the network says he will remain on the series.

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s Duck Dynasty clan who was suspended from his hit reality series on Dec. 18 following some incendiary comments about gay people, won’t be put on hiatus after all.

The network and the Robertson family announced Friday that Phil will still be part of the series — and since he didn’t miss any filming, his temporary suspension will have no effect on the upcoming fifth season.
An A&E statement to The Hollywood Reporter read: [A slippery weasel wrote this…]

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.

In addition, an A&E source says the family and the network are going to work together to promote tolerance moving forward.


I love the free market.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool, One Man & One Woman, The Drill and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. NBW says:

    “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.” I wonder what those PSA’s will contain…if only there where some clue…..

  2. rtjl says:

    “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance”. Like allowing people speak their own opininion on their own time? Perhaps A&E should now publcly state their regret for not initially showing tolerance and acceptance towards Phil.

  3. StJude says:

    Ha! Good for Christians for standing up to the homofacsim!

    I hope when their contract is up.. the Robertsons move to a different network.. CMT or something.

  4. Hidden One says:

    I want Phil’s take on this.

  5. Woody79 says:

    That is great news! However, I’m still not going to watch the show. I don’t like realty shows. Especially when the characters don’t drink scotch or smoke cigars. God Bless Phil, though.

  6. Sword40 says:

    I really think the family should up and quit the A&E network and negotiate with another network.

    A&E is just another liberal bunch of “clowns”.

  7. Gretchen says:

    Hope the upcoming focus on tolerance is for Christian beliefs.

  8. Johnno says:

    So now, A & E will air ads promoting sodomite propaganda?

    I do not like this outcome.

    This is like when the homo-lobbies tried to get Orson Scott Card punished for his crime of standing up for traditional marriage around the time Ender’s Game was to be released in theaters by calling for a boycott of the film. The studio distanced themselves from the views of Orson Scott Card, and continued to promote the movie by saying they’ll donate a percentage of the ticket sales proceeds to gay-activist groups to promote tolerance.

    In the end, whether with Ender’s Game or A & E, the homo-lobby still wins and walks away with some kind of consolation prize which is more support than they otherwise would’ve gotten.

    Evil has still won some ground here. How about we don’t support any channel that openly promotes sin as being worthy of tolerance?

    Like that’ll happen…

  9. Pingback: Socon or Bust » A&E Caves: Robertson reinstated in Duck Dynasty

  10. robtbrown says:

    There is one reason for the A&E backdown. Expressed in its simplest, repeatable terms, it is:


  11. Alanmac says:

    Minority training should be mandatory in this case. Members of the gay/lesbian community should tour Phil Robertson’s set to see how a besieged minority live. Witness the heterosexuality, the facial hair, the camo that this sub-species thrives on. Any question could be answered during the squirrel stew repast.

  12. Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,
    This is certainly good news for the fans of Duck Dynasty and Mr. Robertson, but I feel compelled to note that your bracketed remark following the third quoted paragraph of the Hollywood Reporter article is a scarcely forgivable slur against the innocent members of the genus mustela.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  13. The A&E statement is rude and condescending. If I were Phil I’d tell them to ‘take this job and shove it.’ I wouldn’t give those bunch of Stalin wannabes another red penny.

  14. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    If in the future, it is revealed that all this was a pre-conceived stunt, thought up by A&E executives and the “Duck Dynasty” people, to get a lot more publicity for the show and then boost its ratings (which translates into more money for the network and the Robertson clan), will this be surprising?

  15. CGPearson says:

    It’s just a shame that they backed down due to the almighty dollar rather than out of a genuine change of heart.

  16. TNCath says:

    A and E is going to “promote tolerance.” Ha ! And, of course, we know that “tolerance” is NOT a Christian virtue.

  17. Priam1184 says:

    Yeah, this is a major victory for the human race. Now can we quit talking about it?

  18. Priam1184 says:

    @Dimitri NO it will not be surprising. How many people had heard of this ridiculous show before all of this nonsense started?

  19. mike cliffson says:

    Pyrric? [Pyrrhic?]

  20. Unwilling says:

    You ask “How many people had heard of this ridiculous show?” Well, “the show has broken several ratings records on both A&E and cable television as a whole. The fourth season premiere drew 11.8 million viewers; the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history.” [Wiki] On the other hand, among my presents I got a copy of St Alphonsus’ Liguori’s _Homo Instructus ad audiendas confessions_ [“The man prepared for his job of hearing confessions”], a fascinating treatise about which there is almost nothing online. Popularity, eh.

  21. Gail F says:

    They were never going to get rid of him. They “suspended” him during a time when the show was not filming, and after most of the season had been filmed. I think the whole hting was a sham done to pretend to do what GLAAD wanted without having to actually do anything — a symbolic compromise tht accomplished nothing and made no one happy. I really do ‘t think they thought anyone would notice or care.

  22. rcg says:

    Did Phil recommend anything bad be done to homosexuals? It seems he truly disagrees with homosexuality and believes it is wrong; said that plainly and did himself say it was not his judgement but warned of the resulting judgement he sees coming. No action on his part or anyone else was urged. Seems like that is the definition of tolerance.

    And yes, A&E, at least the producers and staff, were flinching in response to a financial backlash, they just got the backlash wrong.

    A&E has every right to fire or cancel Duck Dynasty for any reason they want. If it is based on a values difference, then fair enough. Cut them loose and let the contract go with them.

  23. Unwilling says:

    Homo Apostolicus Instructus in sua vocatione Ad audiendas confessiones Sive Praxis…Auctore… D. Alphonso de Ligorio

  24. piggin says:

    The real problem is simple…people want to dwell in their iniquities and be praised for it!
    Television is the most effective propaganda instrument in history to lead people into error and to catechize them into a life of mortal sin,Turn the TV off…it is just too dangerous.There is a reason a superbowl ad costs millions of dollars…it is because they are highly effective.Here in the US one can hear people discussing with great passion fictional characters from a fictional reality…while ignoring real people and their very real and dire needs.
    Imagine what the west would look like if people spent one quarter of the time they currently waste on TV praying the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament.
    Don’t watch TV. Pray instead.

  25. Theodore says:

    I had posted previously that this could be the equivalent of Gettysburg for the homosexualists. They did break their teeth on Mr Robertson as Lee did on Meade. Now is the time to pursue them relentlessly and reclaim lost ground.

  26. StJude says:

    Priam.. well.. 14 million people watch it every week… so lots of people.

    This wasnt about a tv show.. just like Chick Fil a wasnt about chicken sandwiches.
    Christians holding Christian opinions is not racist/bigot/homophobe as the left would like anyone with dissenting opinions to be labeled.

  27. Liz says:

    I think I would tell A & E to hit the road, JACK!

  28. robtbrown says:

    Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    If in the future, it is revealed that all this was a pre-conceived stunt, thought up by A&E executives and the “Duck Dynasty” people, to get a lot more publicity for the show and then boost its ratings (which translates into more money for the network and the Robertson clan), will this be surprising?

    I don’t think the stunt was pre conceived–Phil Robertson on other occasionis had publicly made similar comments.

    I do think, however, that some PR firm leapt to time the controversy for Christmas shopping.

  29. robtbrown says:

    Absit invidia says:
    The A&E statement is rude and condescending.

    The statement reminds me of the opinion of Sen George Aiken during the Viet Nam War. He said we should declare a victory and pull out. That was the strategy of A&E

  30. BigRed says:

    In the first paragraph, did the Slippery Weasel misuse the word principal?

  31. robtbrown says:

    Big Red,


  32. Gail F says:

    Priam: I have never seen the show because I don’t get cable. However, it’s the most popular non-scripted show ever on cable (except for sports). DVDs of all the past seasons are available, as are all sorts of products including posters, books, t-shirts, etc, at retailers everywhere. It’s safe to say that A LOT of people have heard of this “ridiculous show,” which has made the people on it and A&E A LOT of money.

  33. Priam1184 says:

    For all who think some great victory was won here: sodomite marriage was made the law of the land by a Federal court in Utah, IN UTAH, while everybody was patting themselves on the back over this phony reality TV hulabaloo. And don’t think that the Supreme Court, short of a divine miracle, will overturn this decision. The homosexual lobby will be happy to trade that victory for Phil Robertson being back on a show he was never kicked off of any day of the week. But hey, you can go back to buying Duck Dynasty stuff at Cracker Barrel, and that’s really the only important thing…

  34. Priam1184 says:

    Bread and circuses.

  35. robtbrown,

    You’re misrepresenting my statement. You can’t be this naive. Phil didn’t win. The side for traditional marriage didn’t win. By allowing Phil back on the show A&E is going to take the Master-Servant approach to Phil and stick it to all traditional marriage supporters. They are going to take an apparent loss and use their power to advance their agenda. A&E themselves already admitted that they are changing the show:

    “an A&E source says the family and the network are going to work together to promote tolerance moving forward.”

    We’ve already witnessed what “values” A&E holds dear. We’ve already witnessed what A&E tolerates and doesn’t tolerate. A&E also said:

    “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.”

    It is naive to think that A&E is going to just let Duck Dynasty resume as normal. They won’t let it happen. By allowing the show to go on they are putting Duck Dynasty, and Phil particularly, on notice – under a microscope. In fact, they have won a victory by firing a warning shot across the bow of every traditional marriage supporter and everybody who speaks out against homosexuality. They have established a precedent of behavior by people with power and authority. It will only advance to the next step from here. People will eventually begin to be jailed for speaking out publicly against homosexuality. History repeats itself. What happened to the Faithful centuries before can easily happen again. People over the centuries really don’t change that much, only the excuses do.

  36. jflare says:

    Another way of offering their news release might be:
    “Well, we actually think he’s pretty bigoted, but he makes us a lot of money, so we’ll find some way around his intolerance.”
    As soon as Duck Dynasty ceases to be a major hit, I suspect they’ll dump them in a heartbeat.
    A&E simply doesn’t wish to alienate a bunch of their fans by being honest about their views.
    Go figure.

  37. robtbrown says:

    Absit invidia,

    1. I’m not misrepresenting your statement. You seem to think that the entire matter was a PR plot cooked up by A&E and the Robertson family. My point, noting Phil Robertson’s history of speaking out on moral matters (I understand the interview was actually some months ago), was that the timing of the controversy was orchestrated by a PR firm to exploit the Christmas market. We both know that the homosexual lobby is very influential in the entertainment world.

    2. Why would you assume I think someone won in the moral sense? I never wrote anything for you to come to that conclusion.

    3. It is dumb to think the family was “put on notice”. Their wealth does not depend either on A&E or TV. They were already rich from their highly successful company before TV cameras arrived. If A&E would have dropped the show, it would have been either picked up by another network or syndicated. A&E wants the money the show brings in. It has the rights to the name Duck Dynasty. So big deal–it could be renamed Duckton Abbey.

    4. You seem not to understand that the persecution of Christians is not new. It was common under the Nazis and in the old Soviet Union. And it was not uncommon in the US–do you know why the Knights of Columbus was founded? And abortion? The brains behind (and the putative author of) Roe v Wade was a Catholic. The US stands firm for one principle–the right to private property.

    5. And then there has been the persecution of Catholics from inside the Church. After the Council anyone who wanted Latin liturgy was ostracized. Seminarians and members of religious orders who liked Latin or were opposed to the joke that is women’s ordination were persecuted and/or forced out. And it all began under the papacy of Paul VI, with the consent of countless bishops, priests, and religious.

  38. SKAY says:

    I was acutely aware of the Utah case. I do wonder who appointed this federal judge–do you know?. The only way we could have any influence on that is to try to have an influence on the election process–that is–the people who put these judges in their positions. I assume you are aware of what the Democrats who have the majority led by Harry Reid (D-Utah) did in the Senate in order to get some Obama left leaning federal judge nominations put on the DC court–the one right under the Supreme Court. That will have an effect–not a good one–on other nominations as well. The Republicans had been able to hold them up until now. Obama wants to get as many leftwing (pro abortion, pro ssm) judges in place as he can before the 2014 elections.
    Those pushing ssm have used movies, television, social media, the internet and public school curriculums to change minds as well as using every means necessary to push prayer and Christianity out of the public square. It seems all of us should have a role to play on every front in this culture war.
    Bread and circus is being used against our views all of the time. A&E tried to inject bad language into the show and the Robertsons refused to agree–then A&E inserted bleep sounds into the show during editing in order to make the audience think they actually used bad language and the family and Phil fought that. As it turned out the family being who they are drew a lot more viewers than A%E expected. Imagine that.
    The show is seen in 40 countries and I hope it continues to play it’s positive part in it’s own unique way thanks to this family and Phil . We will have to wait and see.
    Making people laugh for a little while yet subtly shinning a light on what the Bible teaches is not a bad thing. We may wish for more and perhaps that door has been opened just a little more.
    One good thing is that more people have been made aware of what hypocrites the people at A&E are and what they really stand for.

  39. Ben Kenobi says:

    Prime, the justice in question was appointed by Obama a couple years ago. Now we see why Obama did the whole filibuster stunt. It’s likely it will be overturned as the Governor has already filed an appeal. This one will likely go to the Supremes, and I can’t see Justice Roberts allowing the judge to overturn a constitutional amendment passed by Utah. We shall see. Several years ago I commented on the significance of Reynolds vs the United States as applicable precedent. Odd how life works.

  40. Priam1184 says:

    @Ben Kenobi Really, you don’t see Justice Roberts doing that? I seem to remember something else that Chief Justice John Roberts did that nobody thought that he was going to do too. The reason that the homosexual lobby chose Utah for this particular maneuver (I think) is that they knew that it would make the state government of Utah, as conservative as it is, absolutely apoplectic. The Utah attorney general will try to get this case to the Supreme Court and get a decision rendered as fast as possible. However, the gay lobby knows the Supreme Court and its leanings much better than the Utah attorney general I think. And if the Supreme Court decides in favor of sodomite marriage in this case then it will be the law of the land in all 50 states. Game set match for our culture and civilization. But these dark days won’t last forever, they will however take the United States with them when they go.

  41. Kathleen10 says:

    There’s no evidence for this being manipulated for ratings, certainly not from Phil Robertson who has become somewhat of a spiritual leader whether he intended it or not. It certainly is refreshing to see a man articulate aspects of the faith, however rude the commentary. And to see someone take a stand and apparently refuse to apologize for it, a breath of fresh air. It would be easy to minimize this whole incident, but anyone paying attention should know this mattered quite a bit. It will not make a dent to the homosexual activists. They will regroup and live to fight another day. They seem to have squeezed out some compensation from A&E in the form of PSA’s, and that is worth alot. They get to be “the victims” now. They have cagily used a few words Phil Robertson uttered about growing up in Louisiana during the 50’s or whenever during Jim Crow laws and are using that to align themselves (as always) with the civil rights movement. It amazes that this is tolerated by so many black Americans but it is. Gay rights activists are a relentless group who have clearly gotten some pushback but they do have so many things on their side. We have a rather sleepy Christian population and God. Hopefully we have woken up a bit. We are in serious trouble though. As was mentioned, same-sex marriage passed in Utah.
    The related sad news is Catholics are mostly absent in this culture war. It is the evangelicals who are present and in this case, carrying the day. We have been “decommissioned” by our own faith. I have watched this issue grow over the last twenty years and waited in vain for it to be addressed from the pulpit, but to no avail. The end result, Catholics put Obama in the White House and it is possible one half of Catholics support same-sex marriage. I don’t know that data, but one suspects many Catholics are part and parcel of the secular culture on this. What a shame, a tragedy really. Jesus will have the last word, but what is going to come between now and then is very worrisome. Their is no apparent respect for Constitutional rights from the gay community, don’t look for it unless it is part of a grand manipulation of image. There is tyranny, and you will do it our way or we will silence you, harass you, use violence, find out who you are and get you fired, sue you, and so on in like manner. Think of that video Fr. Z. included here of the lesbians in Brazil was it? Certainly it is diabolical. See the website MassResistance if you are unconvinced.
    As usual victory will go to who wants their outcome more. We have the actual numbers, ten times over most likely but do we have the will! If we had an iota of the passion for our faith that muslims have this would not even be an issue and we would not be here talking about this.
    A tangential point about our church. This past weekend the reading included that troublesome bit about “wives be submissive to your husbands”. In our neck of the woods that bit was bracketed and separated by space from the prior part of the reading as no other part of a reading was in the previous weeks. (I looked.) Our lector did not read it. I asked about it later as I happened to see the lector on the way out. The lector had asked the priest, actually known for his rather traditional Mass, if he should include it and was told no. The lector shared that was by recommendation of our Bishop. No surprise to me there.
    My point is we are caving in to the secular culture. We are like limp noodles. How are we going to win a culture war this way!

Comments are closed.