A&E to Reinstate 'Duck Dynasty' Patriarch

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"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson will return to A&E's hit reality show, said the channel Friday.
In a statement released Friday afternoon A&E said, ''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 channel added, "While Phil's comments made in the (GQ) 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 misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would 'never incite or encourage hate.'"
A&E reversed it's decision after the likely threat of a boycott by viewers. Last week, the channel had put Robertson on an "indefinite hiatus" because of comments he made on homosexuality in a GQ interview. Gay rights groups slammed Robertson over the comments.

The channel's move against the 67-year-old patriarch was met with backlash from fans supporting his biblical views and defending his freedom of speech, including political figures such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. A petition to A&E to bring him back to the show reached over 250,000 signatures. 

TheDuck Dynasty" is cable's biggest reality show ever with an average of 14 million viewers per week.

The future of the series was previously uncertain because the family said they could not imagine continuing without Robertson. Production for the new season is scheduled to start Jan. 15.

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