TMZ's Levin Predicts Phil Robertson Will Return to 'Duck Dynasty'

Monday, 23 Dec 2013 08:00 PM

By Greg Richter

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TMZ's Harvey Levin says his gut tells him Phil Robertson will return to "Duck Dynasty" after a cooling-off period between the warring parties.

Cable channel A&E, which airs the show, suspended Robertson "indefinitely" last week after he was quoted in a GQ magazine story saying homosexuality is a sin. Robertson's family members, who appear with him on the show about their Louisiana duck-call business, have vowed not to return without their patriarch.

They would be in breach of contract if they didn't return.

Levin told Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" on Monday that A&E's decision was partly based on the fact that many of the network's employees are gay.

"The CEO of A&E felt that how can she ask these guys to work as hard as they do to make the show a success when they're so disrespected by the star?" Levin said.

Gay advocacy group GLAAD also put on a "full-court press" to have Robertson removed from the show, Levin said.

Fans have reacted by threatening to stop watching A&E. When Cracker Barrel restaurants announced it would stop selling some "Duck Dynasty" items in its gift shop, the reaction from Robertson supporters was so strong that the company relented and apologized two days later.

Levin told Van Susteren he talked to several insiders last week and thinks there will be a resolution.

"My gut here is that A&E would love to bring him back, because what I've been told repeatedly is, let's just take a break and cool down. After New Year's we'll get back into it," he said.

But the Robertson family, he said, feels the show will not return.

Levin called Cracker Barrel's backtrack "despicable," saying, "They've just got no spine." If the company wanted to take a moral position, it should have stuck by it, he said.

"It's so transparent that this is about money, it's painful," Levin said.

A&E is no different, he said. The network is running a six-day marathon of the show despite the "suspension" of Robertson.

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