Conspiracy theorists are certain the whole dust up about Phil’s remarks to CQ Magazine and his subsequent suspension by A&E was nothing more than a brilliant marketing ploy. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, I believe the results will be that the viewing audience will be larger than ever and product sales will follow suit.
Interestingly, as the drama unfolded on every news outlet in the world it seems, the most unmoved person on the planet was Phil Robertson. He did what he always does. He calmly went to “meet with the brothers” as he likes to put it, and there he worshiped and ministered. The next morning way before the break of day Phil and some of his Duck men were in a duck blind waiting for the birds to commit suicide.
Make no mistake about it, Phil Robertson is a self made man. He was doing great way before any TV shows and when it’s over he will still be the same guy, loving the outdoors, loving the Lord, and loving people. His boys are a lot like him. Evidently the apples didn’t fall far from the tree. It came as no surprise at all to those of us who know them that they stood with Phil, straight and tall. There was never a hint that they would bend.
A&E could have, and should have avoided the whole debacle but they didn’t. After the fact had they done before the suspension of Phil what they did after the suspension, the ensuing madness would not have happened. All they should have done was issue a statement saying that “Phil speaks only for himself, we disagree with him on some of these issues, but agree with the family values portrayed on the show.” GLADD would still have been sad but the issue would have quietly gone away in much less time.
What does the future look like for the family and the show? The family is great! (The exception is Jase and Missy’s daughter Mia who will have some serious surgery on Friday. Say a prayer for her please.) The next season of Duck Dynasty is ready to air and will be funny and inspirational as usual. My money is on viewer records being smashed. I don’t think that even without the recent events that the show has peaked. Of course it will not last forever, nothing does, but I expect several more seasons.
Many have called for a boycott of A&E and suggested the family move the show to a different network. At best that is a silly idea on several levels. First there is a contract. Contracts are binding. Christians honor contracts. Then in addition to their contractual obligation to A&E and vice-versa the question is, where would they go? There is no network that can put their product in more homes than A&E. And, contrary to popular opinion, the Robertsons have had a great working relationship with A&E, the creative people, and the production crew. Many of the supposed big disagreements between the family and the network are simply not true.
Let’s accept some facts. A&E is not CBN. It is not a Christian network. They are not driven by morality, or Christian principals, they exist to make money. And, they are making lots of money. The Robertson family are household names across the planet because their show is on A&E. The exposure given to them by A&E has caused their business, Duckcommander, to explode with growth. The Robertsons, true to their values, use the success as a platform and open door to spread the good news about Jesus to as many people as they can while they can.
So, although the partners have big differences, it’s a happy happy happy partnership. The fans are happy and loyal, the advertisers are happy and loyal, and the economy in Monroe/West Monroe is far better, and the country has one TV show they can watch with family members of all ages and not be exposed to perversion and vulgarity. What does it say about the state of our country when a functional family who loves each other is a novelty?
Jan 15, 2014. Tune in.