Willie Robertson, Phil Robertson and Si Robertson

Nice integrity you got there, A&E! Mere days after announcing that Phil Robertson would not be returning to Duck Dynasty in the wake of his homophobic and racist comments, the network has majorly backtracked. Robertson’s suspension has been lifted, and he’s getting ready to film the next season of the reality show. Awesome.

According to a “source” who talked to People Magazine (which, keep in mind, might mean the person who wrote the article):

The family is happy that they can put this behind them. It got a little out of hand. Phil has never been disrespectful to anyone and treats everyone with kindness. He made some comments off the cuff that he shouldn’t have made, and he knows that.

Uh, would he have realized that his “off the cuff” comments were offensive and hurtful if the internet hadn’t exploded? His candor in that infamous GQ interview definitely doesn’t make him seem like a good-hearted person who phrased something in the wrong way. I’m not saying this man is a horrible monster– I’ve never met him, for one thing– but when you write off blatant homophobia as a little whoopsie, you just make it okay for other people with large audiences to perpetuate shitty ideas without consequence.

Sorry, LGBT kids-- you can still buy a blanket to honor someone who openly hates you at your local Wal-Mart.

Sorry, LGBT kids– you can still buy a blanket to honor someone who openly hates you at your local Wal-Mart.

A representative from GLAAD is, understandably, not thrilled with A&E’s decision to continue profitting off of Robertson’s hateful remarks. The group released this statement:

Phil Robertson should look African-American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists. If dialogue with Phil is not part of the next steps then A&E has chosen to profit over African-American and gay people– especially its employees and viewers.

Right on. The issue here isn’t that one bearded man in Louisiana has a personal problem with gay people or black people. That’s not news. The issue is that Robertson’s views are a reflection on the network– whether they want them to be or not. When you keep producing merchandise with Robertson’s face plastered all over it, you keep telling America that it’s a-okay to use your power to spread hate. Way to go, guys.

Via People / Featured photo: WENN