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A&E Reinstates ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Following Controversy Over Gay Remarks

Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson, Phil Robertson, Miss Kay Robertson and Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty attend the A+E Networks 2012 Upfront at Lincoln Center on May 9, 2012. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson, Phil Robertson, Miss Kay Robertson and Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty attend the A+E Networks 2012 Upfront at Lincoln Center on May 9, 2012. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A&E Television Networks has reinstated the famed patriarch of its popular reality series “Duck Dynasty” following recent controversy over disparaging remarks he made about homosexuals.

The media company released a statement Friday reiterating its disapproval of “Duck Dynasty” cast member Phil Robertson’s remarks regarding homosexuality in the January edition of GQ magazine.

In response to the interview, A&E announced last week what it called a “hiatus” for the 67-year-old.

In an earlier statement, A&E said it was extremely disappointed to see Robertson’s anti-gay remarks, which the cable network said were based on his personal beliefs and did not reflect those of A&E Networks or the show. A&E Networks, a joint venture of The Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., called itself a supporter of the lesbian and gay community.

The channel’s move was lauded by the gay and lesbian media advocacy group GLAAD, which had quickly condemned Robertson’s comments.

Meanwhile supporters of the show and Robertson created a Facebook page that called for a boycott of New York-based A&E until Robertson was allowed back on the show.

A&E said that following discussions with the Robertson family, as well as with numerous advocacy groups, it decided to resume filming “Duck Dynasty” later this spring with the entire Robertson family.

While A&E has said it does not agree with Robertson’s comments, the company said “Duck Dynasty” is not just a show “about one man’s views.”

A&E also said it will use the controversy as a means to launch a national pubic service campaign promoting “unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.”

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