GLAAD, Faith Driven Consumer Respond to A&E's Decision to Welcome Back DUCK DYNASTY's Phil Robertson
Deadline reports that both advocacy group GLAAD and Faith Driven Consumer -- the organization that created the widely circulated IStandWithPhil.com petition -- have responded to A&E's decision to lift DUCK DYNASTY star Phil Robertson's suspension following anti-gay comments he made in an upcoming issue of GQ magazine. Robertson will return to the reality series in 2014.
"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 reads. "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."
Faith Driven Consumer's statement reads: "Today's decision by A&E to reinstate Phil Robertson to Duck Dynasty is in direct response to the powerful and engaged voices of millions of Faith Driven Consumers, as highlighted by more than 260,000 signers of the IStandWithPhil.com petition. However, the question remains, has the Faith Driven Consumer community truly been heard? Despite our celebration, we remain uncertain of A&E's true intent. Today, in the network's statement of their core values - centered on 'creativity, inclusion, and mutual respect' - Faith Driven Consumers are left wondering whether A&E considers us to be a part of America's rich rainbow of diversity. Do they also now embrace the biblically based values and worldview held by the Robertson family and millions of Faith Driven Consumers? Did the network's engagement and consultation with 'numerous advocacy groups' include Faith Driven Consumers? We eagerly anticipate A&E's naming of those groups to ensure that our community was included. Faith Driven Consumers will remain vigilant as we measure whether A&E's actions reflect true tolerance, diversity, and mutual respect - including their equal embrace of our biblically based values and deeply held beliefs."
Yesterday, BWW reported that Robertson would be returning to DUCK DYNASTY next year. A&E commented: "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 controversy erupted last week, when Robertson was suspended from the reality series indefinitely by the A&E network in the wake of his anti-gay comments in the January issue of GQ. Said Robertson, "Everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong... Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
Since that time, everyone from Charlie Sheen to Sarah Palin to the late night host circuit have weighed in on the controversy.
Season five of Duck Dynasty is set to premiere on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, with back-to-back episodes at 10:00 and 10:30PM ET/PT.