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A&E announced Friday night that Duck Dynasty family patriarch Phil Robertson will be allowed back on the show, despite being briefly suspended after his controversial anti-gay comments were published in GQ. GLAAD, one of the major groups pushing for Robertson to be taken off the show, has responded to the decision, hoping that A&E will continue to have a dialogue with Robertson about his comments.
“Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists,” GLAAD’s statement read, reports The LA Times. “If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A+E has chosen profits over African American and gay people – especially its employees and viewers.”
Robertson was quickly suspended from the show after the GQ interview went viral. However, many fans of the show were outraged and the rest of the Robertson family said they couldn't see the show continuing without him. So, A&E finally decided Friday to bring him back.
The network did say that it will create a PSA that promotes “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,” notes EW.
Duck Dynasty’s fifth season premieres on Jan. 15. Since no filming took place during Robertson’s suspension, he will not miss a single episode.