Saturday, December 28, 2013

Phil Robertson Back, A&E Breaks

A&E has ended the suspension of Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty.

In this battle in the culture wars, the Robertsons and their supporters are resoundingly victorious.

Here's the 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 homes, and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principles.

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 misinterpretation 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.
Yeah, whatever.

Bottom line: In a way, A&E is the big loser. PC nuts and some gay activist groups are extremely angry with A&E; and Duck Dynasty fans as well as other freedom-loving Americans are disgusted with the network, too.

In a way, A&E is the big winner. All this publicity for Duck Dynasty must have expanded the fan base enormously. A&E may have to swallow hard but all the profits that are sure to continue to roll in will probably make that less painful.