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Sunday
Dec292013

Conservative Fans Unhappy with A&E Over "Duck Dynasty" Controversy

A&E Television(NEW YORK) --  A conservative religious group that petitioned the A&E network to have Phil Roberston reinstated on Duck Dynasty is now asking the network to reflect on their "biblical based values."

In a statement Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, which started the IStandWithPhil.com petition, questioned whether religious conservative fans were being "heard" by the network.

"Do they also now embrace the biblically based values and worldview held by the Robertson family and millions of Faith Driven Consumers?" wrote Stone.

The Istandwithphil.com petition amassed more than 260,000 signatures by the time Robertson was reinstated by A&E.

"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," wrote Stone.

Family patriarch Robertson, 67, was suspended from the hit show after he gave an interview with GQ Magazine in which he made anti-gay comments and said he didn't see black people suffering inequality before the civil rights movement.

Robertson later defended his comments and said all he did was quote from the Bible, and that he would "not give or back off from my path."

On Friday, the network released a statement saying he would return to the show in 2014.

"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 release stated.

The decision to reinstate Robertson was met with anger by some advocacy groups.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said A&E's decision to reinstate Phil Robertson on Duck Dynasty shows the network has "chosen profits over African American and gay people."

"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 said in a statement. "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."

In a statement to Fox News, the family said they were "excited to keep making a quality TV show."

"We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through Duck Dynasty and our many projects that we are currently working on," they said in the statement. "The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly."

On Friday, Phil Robertson's son Willie Robertson took to Twitter to express his happiness that his father's suspension was over.

 



A&E said the network would "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."

A&E explained the decision to bring Robertson back, saying that Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views -- Robertson's -- and that "it resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family ... a family that America has come to love ... they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness."

EDITOR'S NOTE: ABC is a part owner of the A&E Network


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio