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Phil's back! A&E lifts ban on 'Duck Dynasty' star

NEED TO KNOW
  • Cable network says 'Duck Dynasty' patriarch Phil Robertson will return when show begins filming in 2014
  • Robertson made controversial comments about homosexuality and race in a recent interview
Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty on A&E

The "Duck Dynasty" clan will have their patriarch Phil Robertson back in the fold when they resume filming their wildly popular reality show in the spring of 2014, A&E Networks confirmed Friday.

Robertson was suspended from the show by the earlier in December for remarks he made in a GQ magazine interview about homosexuality and race.

Read more: 'Duck' fans push for 'Chick-Phil-A Day'

The Robertson family had previously said that they would not continue the show without Phil "at the helm."

A&E Networks' complete statement on the lifting of the suspension, as provided to HLN, follows:

“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.”

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