Shortly after A&E’s Friday decision to return Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson to his reality show after a short suspension, his son, Alan, praised fans of the show for supporting the patriarch.
“Our family has become even closer through the past 9 days and we are excited to keep making a quality tv show for our dedicated fans, who have showed us wonderful support,” Robertson said in a statement to E! News. “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. The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly.”
On Dec. 18, A&E announced that Phil Robertson would be placed on “indefinite hiatus” from his popular cable show following anti-gay comments made to GQ magazine. Prominent conservatives defended the star — former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal among them.
Nine days later, the network reversed the decision with a statement to The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets saying that it would “resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.” The network also pledged to “launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.”
Jindal praised the Dec. 27 announcement in a series of posts on Twitter: “I’m glad to hear that A&E came to its senses & recognized that tolerance of religious views is more important than political correctness … Today is a good day for the freedoms of speech and religious liberty … The left may control Hollywood, but they don’t control the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans.”
The LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD issued this statement after the reversal: “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. 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.”