*The suspension is over.
A&E just announced that it has reversed its decision to put “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson on an indefinite hiatus from the show for his remarks about gays.
In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back after discussions with the Robertson family and “numerous advocacy groups.”
The channel had put Robertson in a time out following his comments in GQ magazine about how the Bible informs his view of gays. He also spoke shared his opinion about blacks being happier and “Godly” before the civil rights movement and “entitlements.”
His comments were slammed by groups including GLAAD, the gay media watch organization, as well as the NAACP and Rev. Jesse Jackson. But A&E’s decision drew a backlash from those who said they supported Robertson’s comments and others who defended him on the basis of freedom of speech.
Fox News host Sean Hannity gave out the numbers on the air last Thursday of A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc and A&E Chairwoman Abbe Raven, and both received personal messages on Twitter. Some called for a boycott.
“Dear @AETV, congratulations, you just committed suicide,” one “Duck Dynasty” fan wrote.
GLAAD said it has never received as many angry calls and emails about a position as it did about “Duck Dynasty.”
“In the five-and-a-half years I’ve worked at GLAAD, I’ve never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments,” said Rich Ferraro, a GLAAD spokesman.