A&E announced Friday that the reality TV show star would be coming back in 2014, after he was briefly put on “indefinite hiatus” earlier this month following publication of an interview in which he compared homosexuality to, among other things, bestiality and terrorism.
“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,” A&E said in a statement.
Robertson sparked an outrage when an interview published in GQ quoted him comparing gays to “drunks,” “terrorists” and “prostitutes.” Gay rights groups called for the network to cut ties with him, his family and conservative politicians defended him, and sponsors weighed whether or not to continue their relationship. But ultimately, the popularity of the show seemed to lead A&E to decide that a brief suspension was sufficient. Robertson had defended his remarks.
“We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold,” the network said. “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.”