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Duck Dynasty Season 5 Premiere Date: Phil Robertson Will Return After Controversy

( [email protected] ) Jan 04, 2014 05:59 AM EST
Phil Robertson will return to A&E reality show Duck Dynasty following his temporary suspension for his homosexuality and race comments in an interview with GQ.

Phil Robertson will return to A&E reality show Duck Dynasty following his temporary suspension for his homosexuality and race comments in an interview with GQ.

Last week, the A&E cable network announced that Robertson will continue to be a part of the series. Duck Dynasty Season 5 premieres Jan. 15, 2014.

Following Phil Roberson's suspension, members of the Robertson family released a statement claiming they didn't know how to continue the show without Phil.

'After discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family,' the network said in a statement.The removal of the 67-year-old patriarch from the show was lauded by gay rights organizations, but fans of the show denounced it as a violation of Robertson's right to free speech.

Soon after the announcement of Robertson's suspension, American Family Association urged its supporters and Duck Dynasty fans to write letters to A&E through the AFA web site, which were then sent to A&E and the Robertson family. The web site IStandWithPhil.com also gathered 260,000 petition signatures, demanding A&E reinstate Robertson to the show.

'Mr. Robertson's comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family - a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today's world as a whole,' reads the petition, launched by a conservative Christian organization.

"We're just glad to be back to work," Willie said during an interview on Fox News' All-American New Year special. "A&E and us are fine. We're looking forward to getting back to making some funny shows. It's a new year, so we're ready to break in a new year and start it all over again."

"We're ready to get started. We got a new season coming up in a couple of weeks and really excited about that. We got a couple of episodes filmed, and we'll be filming in before we know it. We're ready to move on, you know. I think we all learned a lot and we're just ready to move on, and the family's happy, and we're ready to go. I've got to make sure my guys are back there building duck calls." Willie added.