Friday, December 27, 2013

A&E reverses Phil Robertson's suspension

Cable network A&E said on Friday it was bringing back family patriarch Phil Robertson to the hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" after fans protested his suspension over anti-gay remarks and big-name corporate sponsors stuck by the series. 
According to Deadline, TV industry sages forecast that if A&E wanted the Robertson family to continue starring in the network’s cash cow Duck Dynasty, after the network put patriarch Phil on indefinite hiatus over incendiary comments he’d made in a GQ interview (the family issued statement saying they were standing with Phil) the network would have to “eat crow” — and forecast A&E would “do it right after Christmas.”Which, of course, is exactly what happened!  And here’s what the industry is saying about that, via Twitter:
- Joe Scarborough: As predicted early. Biggest bias in LA is $$$.
- Dan Abrams: But talk about trying to bury the #DuckDynasty news. . after 5p on the Friday before New Years.
- W. Kamau Bell: “Hardest 9 days of my gay hating life.” – Phil Robertson on A&E lifting his suspension from Duck Dynasty.  
- Billy Eichner, creator of Funny Or Die’s Fuse TV game show Billy on the Street: Very excited A&E is resuming Duck Dynasty with Phil Robertson.  We need more ignorant homophobic racists who probably hate women on the air.
- Andy Lassner, Ellen exec producer: A&E has lifted its suspension of Phil Robertson. Family & friends are said to be gathering tonight to celebrate inside his beard.

Sidebar: Not surprised.  I agree with a TV exec who said “Their statement … should have been simply along the lines of, ‘The opinion stated by Phil is his opinion only; it’s not the opinion of A&E’ — and let it go.” Now they have to eat crow.