The suspension stirred an uproar among fans of the show and also conservative political and religious leaders. More than 250,000 signed a petition demanding Phil Robertson’s reinstatement. Cries of anti-Christian bias from famous Republicans like Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana also followed.Oh, well, of course. The family tolerates and forgives people in the family, therefore it's a moral lesson to us all.
More ominously, the family issued a statement saying in effect there would be no show without their patriarch.
On Friday, A&E bowed to the pressure and released a new statement, accompanying the news that Mr. Robertson would miss no episodes. The statement cited Mr. Robertson’s later comments that his views were in no way intended to “incite or encourage hate,” as well as the way the Robertson family’s interaction in the show demonstrated values like “unity, tolerance and forgiveness.”
It almost seems fair to ask, as some cynics have done, if the Robertson family planned this whole thing to sell a few thousand extra duck calls to fans who have no interest in hunting ducks but would go looking for a way to express their support for statements equating gay people with drunks and terrorists.