Phil Robertson’s Suspension is Over
Via The Hollywood Reporter: A&E Welcomes Phil Robertson Back to ‘Duck Dynasty’
The network and the Robertson family announced Friday that Phil will still be part of the series — and since he didn’t miss any filming, his temporary suspension will have no effect on the upcoming fifth season.
While I do not think that the whole thing was a PR stunt (i.e., I do not think that Robertson’s statements were calculated), I do think that the PR people at A&E played the whole thing quite brilliantly. The suspension made the network seem sensitive to those Robertson may have offended while at the same time generating huge amounts of press for the show. Further, the show’s fans are now more loyal (and many, no doubt, bought more DD merchandise during the holiday shopping season). I predict a record premiere for the show in January.
While I do think that the whole thing certainly hit some culture war fault lines, I maintain that the main lens through which to view the whole thing is economics. Like I said the other day: Never Forget: It’s Really about the Money.