August 12, 2022

Duck Dynasty to resume filming with Phil Robertson after A&E reverses suspension over anti-gay comments after just a week


  • A&E has announced Phil Robertson will return to Duck Dynasty
  • Robertson was briefly suspended after making homophobic comments in GQ magazine
  • The network says it does not endorse Robertson’s views
  • Fans and Christian conservatives came out in force to support Robertson after the suspension
  • Detractors say A&E’s initial response was not sufficient
  • He hasn’t missed a single day of filming

Phil Robertson will return to A&E reality show Duck Dynasty in 2014 following his brief suspension for infammatory comments about homosexuality in GQ.

‘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,’ the network said in a statement.

Robertson was put on indefinite hiatus less than two weeks ago by A&E in response to the uproar following the interview.

Reinstated: Phil Robertson won't miss a day of filming after his brief hiatus was reversed by A&E

Reinstated: Phil Robertson won’t miss a day of filming after his brief hiatus was reversed by A&E


The removal of the 67-year-old patriarch from the show was lauded by gay rights organizations, but fans of the show denounced it as a violation of Robertson’s right to free speech.

Conservative supporters include Sarah Palin, who wrote in a Facebook post: ‘Free speech is an endangered species. Those intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.’

A&E initially took action after Robertson’s comments caused uproar, saying his views were ‘disappointing’ and that A&E has always been ‘strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.’

Now, the network says the family has made it clear that they are sorry if they caused any offense with the patriarch’s remarks.

‘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,’ reads the statement.

United: The Robertson family made it clear they did not want to continue filming Duck Dynasty without patriarch Phil

United: The Robertson family made it clear they did not want to continue filming Duck Dynasty without patriarch Phil


The homophobic comments from the born-again Christian included such insights as, ‘ ‘It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus.

‘That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.’

He also grouped homosexuals in with terrorists, saying, ‘We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus – whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?’

GLAAD hit back soon after the interview was released online, calling him a ‘stain’ on the network A&E which airs the show.

GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz told E! News: ‘Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe.

‘He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans – and Americans – who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples.

Disgusted: Reverent Jesse Jackson said Robertson's comments make him worse than the bus driver who infamously sent Rosa Parks to the back of the bus

Disgusted: Reverent Jesse Jackson said Robertson’s comments make him worse than the bus driver who infamously sent Rosa Parks to the back of the bus


‘Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.’

In addition to his anti-gay rhetoric, the duck hunter also made dubious remarks regarding Louisiana before the Civil Rights Movement.

‘I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field,’ said Robertson.

‘They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.’

For many, including Reverend Jesse Jackson, who compared Robertson to the driver who sent Rosa Parks to the back of the bus the attempts at damage control by A$E were insufficient.

‘These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago,’ Jackson said in a statement obtained by ABC News.

‘At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law.

‘Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was “white privilege.”’

In his statement, the 72-year-old civil rights leader demanded to meet within 72 hours with A&E executives and Cracker Barrel’s CEO to discuss the future of Duck Dynasty memorabilia, which rakes in millions of dollars for the network and its star family.

Jackson also urged the network to uphold Robertson’s indefinite suspension from the popular program.

Stardom: Two of the unlikely reality TV stars of Duck Dynasty, brothers Silas 'Uncle Si' Robertson (left) and Phil Robertson

Stardom: Two of the unlikely reality TV stars of Duck Dynasty, brothers Silas ‘Uncle Si’ Robertson (left) and Phil Robertson


Robertson’s many fans and supporters countered with an online petition, called I Stand with Phil, demanding A&E reinstate Robertson to the show.

‘Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family – a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole,’ reads the petition, launched by a conservative Christian organization.

In addition to the petition, conservative Christians rallied behind Robertson by flooding the A&E New York offices with thousands of rubber duckies as part of the Mail The Duck campaign to reinstate the reality star to his show.

Another show of support came in the form of a planned mass eat-in at chicken restaurant Chick-Fil-A.

CEO of the fast food restaurant Dan Cathy faced his own scandal after making anti-gay comments. According to Fox News, supporters are planning a ‘Chick-Phil-A’ day, in which they don camouflage gear and gorge on poultry.

The odd show of support is planned for January 21, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the event.

Robertson supporters are encouraged to wear ‘Duck Commander or camouflage gear’ to their local Chick-Fil-A restaurant to ‘stand for free speech’ and ‘sit for good food.’

Fast food and freedom: The Facebook page for a planned 'Chick-Phil-A Day' in support of Phil Robertson

Fast food and freedom: The Facebook page for a planned ‘Chick-Phil-A Day’ in support of Phil Robertson


It so far has more than 25,000 ‘likes’ and many have expressed their desire to go.

‘IM [sic] with Phil. He is right in what he said and how he believes. I will be eating ckicken [sic] to show support for free speech,’ wrote one.

Another questioned the sudden fervency of the Christian right’s support of free speech.

‘How many of you “free speech advocates” stood up for the Dixie Chicks when people wanted to kick them off the radio for using their “free speech”?’

It’s unclear what effect the mass consumption of fried chicken was intended to have on Robertson’s suspension.

The controversy did no damage to the Robertson coffers, either. Sales for the Duck Dynasty Christmas album soared during the holiday season.

According to Nielsen, Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas sold 132,000 during the week of December 22, nearly twice the amount of discs sold since its first week on the shelves in October.

Sales were high enough to claim the number four spot on the Billboard album charts.

The definite end of the Duck Commander’s ‘indefinite’ hiatus has been greeted without surprise by media pundits.

Founder of Business Insider Henry Blodget tweeted, ‘That Phil Robertson “suspension” was the most brilliant marketing stunt ever. Two weeks ago, I had never even heard of Duck Dynasty!’

Funny or Die host Billy Eichner tweeted, ‘Very excited A&E is resuming Duck Dynasty with Phil Robertson. We need more ignorant homophobic racists who probably hate women on the air.’

The reality show – which follows the Robertson clan running their duck-calling business in the swampland of West Monroe, Louisiana – has been a runaway success for A&E, with a Christmas special recently pulling in 9 million viewers.

The millionaire self-described hillbilly’s suspension made no impact on the upcoming season of the show and he has missed no filming time.