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Phil Robertson to resume ‘Duck Dynasty’ filming after gay comments

Above: People react Phil Robertson back on Duck Dynasty

LOS ANGELES – Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson will return to work on A&E’s reality show despite his comments about gay immorality, the channel said Friday, reversing its decision to suspend him after facing a boycott backlash.

In a statement Friday, A&E said it was bringing Robertson back after discussions with his Louisiana family featured in the hit reality series and “numerous advocacy groups.”

Last week, the channel had put Robertson on what it called an indefinite “hiatus” because of his comments in a GQ magazine article that the Bible views gays as sinners akin to adulterers, prostitutes and swindlers.

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A&E said it decided to drop Robertson from the show about a wealthy family that makes duck calls because it is part of a company whose core values are “centred around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect.”

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READ MORE: ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson defends his controversial comments

While reiterating that Robertson’s views are not those of the channel, A&E noted Friday that he has publicly said he would “never incite or encourage hate.” The show itself is more than one man’s views, it added.

“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,” A&E said.

The Robertson family said it had no immediate comment Friday.

Duck Dynasty is the channel’s highest-rated program and set a reality show record for cable with nearly 12 million viewers for its fourth-season debut this past summer.

A&E said it intended to launch a national public service campaign “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.”

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