'Duck Dynasty' star to resume filming

“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson is returning to his reality show on cable television.

A&E Network announced Friday that it was bringing Robertson back despite remarks he made about homosexuality in an interview with GQ Magazine that led the network to suspend him.

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It explaining its decision to begin filming with Robertson, A&E said he and his family had said they regretted the “coarse language” used in the interview, according to a story in The Hollywood Reporter.

It also said that it had discussed the issue with a number of advocacy groups in making the decision to bring Robertson back.

A&E said it would also launch a national public service campaign to promote “unity, tolerance and acceptance of all people,” a message the network said represented its core values as a company.

“As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect,” its statement said. "We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals."

It said that is why it reacted quickly in suspending Robertson.

“But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views,” the statement continued. “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.”

The decision follows a week in which Robertson has been at the center of a debate about politically correct speech and cultural sensitivities.

Several conservative politicians, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), had criticized the suspension, suggesting it was an attack on middle-American values.

A&E had become the subject of online petitions protesting its treatment of Robertson, whose family is at the center of the top-rated reality show on cable television. Yet it was also under pressure from gay rights groups who were offended by Robertson’s comments, which compared homosexuality to bestiality.

The Hollywood Reporter said the Robertsons recently re-signed to stay on the show. Their contract, the news site said, is a multiyear deal worth more than $200,000 per episode.

Here’s the full statement from A&E:

As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.

That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. 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.

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.

So 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.

We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting 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.