Is “Duck Dynasty” now in danger of coming to an end following Phil Robertson’s “indefinite” suspension? We are getting set for what is going to be a very interesting battle between a network, a cast, and also a very passionate and loyal following that includes politicians and many others arguing that A&E is not following the First Amendment by not allowing him to work because of his beliefs about homosexuality.
Rather than release comments individually, the entire Robertson family issued a statement tonight that is in staunch defense of their patriarch; while they admit that his comments may have been (using their word) “coarse,” they also take what may be the first shot that suggests that they may refuse to film any more of the show unless he comes on board again and continues to be the anchor:
“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.”
This is where things get tricky for A&E. The network has made a ton of money off of the show, and there is also a fifth season of already-filmed episodes set to premiere early next year. The family could be convinced to walk or engage in a legal battle if something does not change, and there would probably be many a network interested in picking them up almost right away. This is A&E’s highest-rated series ever, and the ball’s now in their court regarding just how “indefinite” they want this suspension to be. One way or another, they are going to be criticized. The question is whether they want it to be by gay-rights groups, or fans and a few conservative organizations.
As we’ve said previously, we are going to have more “Duck Dynasty” scoop at the link here really throughout the duration of this entire mess. You can also click here if you want to subscribe to our official newsletter for more updates about this and other shows.