Despite earlier announcements that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was suspended from the show after he made racist and antigay comments in an interview the GQ magazine, he will continue to be featured in the reality series when A&E resumes airing new episodes beginning January 15, reports Entertainment Weekly.
A source close to the series told EW that nine of the show’s upcoming 10 episodes have already been shot and any footage featuring the antigay Robertson patriarch will remain intact.
“There’s no negotiation to have; we’re doing the show,” an insider close to the situation told EW. “We’ll figure out a solution. It’s just not going to happen overnight. Everybody will take a break for the holidays and regroup afterward. That’s probably the smartest thing for everyone to do. Time heals a lot of wounds.”
ThoughRobertson’s comments have incited backlash from both ends, the controversy isn’t causing advertisers to migrate south. Under Armour will continue to sponsor the quack pack, but the clothing company was quick to clarify daddy duck’s beliefs were his own.
“The recent comments in the GQ article are not reflective of Under Armour’s beliefs and do not represent our point of view,” Under Armour told the Business Journal. “As a company, we are committed to diversity and inclusion and believe in treating everyone equally and with respect.”
Duck Dynasty currently averages 14.6 million viewers and has become a merchandising empire – raking in more than $400 million in related retail sales – it seems unlikely that A&E, or the quack pack’s advertisers, will dump the most popular reality show of all time.