'Duck Dynasty' Family Releases Statement Putting Show's Future in Doubt

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December 20th, 2013

duck dynasty

Duck Dynasty's Robertson family has released a statement saying that they cannot do the show without exiled cast member Phil Robertson, and revealing that they are currently negotiating with A&E about the future of the show. Here's the full statement:

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision.

We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.

We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.

Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.

 
  • cimmer

    Someone else who doesn’t understand this isn’t a free speech or constitutional issue it’s an employer/employee issue. Unless the contract was set to be done after this season not doing the show would be a matter for the lawyers. Let’s see what the new season’s ratings are like between the supporters calling for a boycott and the people disliking it calling for a boycott and the people who don’t care or who will tune in just to see what all the fuss is about. What would be ironic is if the show got great ratings not from the ‘fans’ of the family but from people who tuned in to gawk. There are drawbacks to so called ‘cheap’ reality programming.

  • Nikki

    This whole thing is so silly.. He works for the network and what he said is bad press for the network. There is a contract and he is suspended.. thats it. They didnt fire him, he will return they all need to just accept it. And they cant not do the show if they are in contract. This whole thing is stupid.

  • Carl

    Can someone please ask them where the Bible said that black people were happy and singing during Jim Crow and stopped being happy after Jim Crow ended?

    Sounds like they don’t want to leave the show and are trying to strongarm A&E into keeping him around.

  • Ultima

    @cimmer
    Unless the contract was set to be done after this season not doing the show would be a matter for the lawyers.

    Not doing the show is a matter of them not doing the show, it’s not like A&E can force them to do it. If there is a financial penalty for them walking away, it’s going to be trivial for a family worth ~$80 million.

    That said, I’m pretty sure they haven’t been picked up for a fifth season (the upcoming episodes are still season four).

    The Robertsons hold all of the cards here, they don’t need Duck Dynasty and they don’t need A&E. The network knew who he was and he’s said things like this before. My guess is that they thought this was a good opportunity to force him out and tone down some of the Christian elements of the show that they don’t like. It didn’t work and now they’re in the position of either facing a huge backlash from the left if they walk back the suspension or having to give up their cash cow.

  • Josh

    Talk about killing the golden goose…

  • Carmen

    This season (the upcoming one) – as I understand it – is almost completed.

    That is why A & E’s action to appease the gay community and organizations is mostly symbolic. And make no bones about it, A & E is trying to find the most favorable compromise on this that they can. Freedom of Speech considerations can be set aside until the s–t in the wind disapates.

    If A & E was going to stand behind its convictions, then why don’t they simply take all the existing episodes off the air since almost every one features Phil (Robertson) That’s right, remove the 3 nights a week marathons that are making their network a fortune?? That will show GLAAD and the far left liberals that you are sensitive to their issues.

    Go ahead, A & E, stand behind your convictions. Why don’t they pull the show off the air? Isn’t that what this network did with Dog, The Bounty Hunter in similar circumstances.

    The reason, of course, is by doing that they run the risk of losing the show
    altogether.
    As it is, A & E – after current contract stipulations are met – will find that the (Robertson) family will no longer give you the show for a dirt cheap song. (I’ve read $200,000 a season for the entire family!!)
    That’s less that Ashton Kutcher gets for one week of TAAHM)

  • Carl

    If it was that trivial to walk away, they would have already.

  • Ultima

    @Carl
    Can someone please ask them where the Bible said that black people were happy and singing during Jim Crow and stopped being happy after Jim Crow ended?

    Can you please explain where he mentions the Bible in his statement?

    “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

    It seems he’s simply recounting his personal experiences in the pre-Civil Rights era in Louisiana.

    This is going beyond a person no longer being entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, but it seems you have a problem with a person recounting their own experiences?! People should ignore what has happened in their life and simply regurgitate pre-canned politically acceptable responses?

    :roll:

  • Michael1

    Given that new episodes of “Duck Dynasty” are routinely beaten by repeats of “The Big Bang Theory”, I think that A&E’s best course of action would be one of the following:

    1) Try to wrestle “Big Bang Theory” repeats away from TBS
    2) Create a reality show following Jim Parsons around in his every day life
    3) Create a spin-off of “The Big Bang Theory” featuring Laurie Metcalf’s character as Sheldon’s bible-thumping mother.

    I have a feeling that any of these options would produce higher ratings than would “Duck Dynasty”.

  • Don

    I get sick and tired of the do gooders in the world who become outraged about comments made or actions of television personalities. If you don’t agree, or don’t like the comment, CHANGE THE CHANNEL!

  • cimmer

    @Ultima, if there’s a contract it’s a matter for the lawyers or are the rules different for rich folk? Silly me of course they are. ;)

  • Jagger Dagger

    Does anyone know how long the contract that A&E has with the show is?

  • cimmer

    A&E is big enough and popular enough to take care of themselves. I wonder how much of the Duck Dynasty demographic bleeds over into other shows on A&E? Are they also Longmire fans? Do they watch Bates Motel? How many people just watch Duck Dynasty simply to make fun of the people? How many of the viewers thought the family was eccentric but cuddly even though they didn’t agree with their lifestyle choices? Are they turned off by what was said? Now that would be interesting info that I’m sure the advertisers would love to have and regardless we still have one more season of the show no matter what with Phil in it so A&E doesn’t really ‘lose’ in this situation. As for the Duck family, they’re rich, they’ll probably use this a springboard to politics (didn’t one of them do that already?) and paid commentator spots on Fox News. It’s a ‘win’ for everyone except our collective IQ’s. :0)

  • Ultima

    @Michael1
    Given that new episodes of “Duck Dynasty” are routinely beaten by repeats of “The Big Bang Theory”

    Wait, what? Original episodes from the current season of Duck Dynasty averaged a 3.9 A18-49 rating; repeats of The Big Bang Theory rarely even get half that.

  • Ultima

    @Jagger Dagger
    Does anyone know how long the contract that A&E has with the show is?

    They have ten episodes already filmed and in post-production (set to air starting in January).

    The show hasn’t been renewed past that point.

  • Fake Me Out

    @Ultima

    It seems he’s simply recounting his personal experiences in the pre-Civil Rights era in Louisiana.

    His recollections may, or may not, be truthful and/or accurate but I just wonder how many ‘uppity blacks’ in pre-Civil Rights era in Louisiana were going to say anything about whites, their treatment or their grievances to a white man, even a self admitted white-trash white man? Just curious, how long ago did the last black get strung up or otherwise killed for being felony black in Louisiana? I don’t know the answer but I bet it’s a lot closer to now rather than back then when “They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues”.

    ymmv

  • Josh

    @Fake Me Out

    Very true. Hell a high school in Mississippi just had there first non segregated prom in 2010. So I cant imagine what the hell was going on in the 1960s. He don’t recall not being able to sit in the same restaurant or drinking from the same water fountain miss treating. Bull he knows. Hes statement on that was more alarming to me.

  • Jagger Dagger

    @Ultima
    Thanks.

    I was looking more for how long A&E has ownership or has the family under contract for. If A&E doesn’t air the show, they can still sit on the show
    and keep the family from doing another show for someone else as long as the family is bound under the contract.

  • Carl

    @Ultima, this is the part I’m talking about, in that family’s statement:

    “We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible.”

    Where are Phil Roberton’s views on “happy, singing blacks” in the Bible? Where does the Bible talk about how happy black people were before welfare?

  • Mike

    Carl….

    He never said that came from the Bible. He said that was his opinion on that.

    Christians sometimes do have their own opinions on things that are separate and apart from what the Bible says.

    He was asked what he believes on some topics. Some of his opinions were based on what he has learned and knows from the Bible and some were what he learned and observed growing up where he lived.

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