US reality star Phil Robertson, who was recently suspended from his TV show after making controversial anti-gay comments, is now said to reappear when the show returns in January.
According to a source close to Entertainment Weekly, however, A&E network is planning to “figure out a solution” to allow the star to return to the show on January 15.
The source said: “There’s no negotiation to have; we’re doing the show.
“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.”
In the GQ interview, Robertson had been asked to describe sin by the magazine, and replied: “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. I mean, come on dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.
“Start with homosexual behaviour and just morph out from there,” he continued. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and those men.”
More than 9m viewers regularly watch reality sitcom Duck Dynasty in the US.
It follows the lives of the Robertson family, a clan with old-fashioned values who live together in Louisiana, running their multi-million family business, Duck Commander – which makes products for duck hunters.
A network statement read: “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty.
“His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”
Wilson Cruz, a spokesperson for GLAAD, said: “Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” he added.