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This Dec. 21 photo shows items showing the image of Phil Robertson and his catchphrase "Happy, Happy, Happy" displayed at the Duck Commander store in West Monroe, La. The town is the setting for the popular "Duck Dynasty"series, where show patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended last week for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

The A&E channel said it's reversing its decision to drop "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson from the show for his remarks about gays.

In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups."

The channel had put Robertson on what it called "hiatus" following his comments in a magazine article about how the Bible informs his view of gays.

His comments were slammed by groups including GLAAD, the gay media watch organization. But A&E's decision drew a backlash from those who said they supported Robertson's comments and others who defended him on the basis of freedom of speech.

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