Fish & Game News December 22, 2013 Elliott
As the fallout from Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuality continues to rain down, some say its time to put a fork in “Duck Dynasty,” while others think the hit show has a few quacks left in it.
On Wednesday, following intense criticism from gay rights groups and others, A&E announced that the patriarch of the duck-hunting family had been placed on “indefinite hiatus” following his comments to GQ magazine.
A source close to the show tells FOX411 that even if Robertson apologized, at this point, A&E is done with him.
But can the ratings juggernaut really go on without its central character, the man who presides over the family and leads the dinner time prayers?
“All shows run their course. But this still has at least another season or two in it,” the insider said. “Granted, the overall feeling of uninhibited love that this country has had for the show and brand will likely start to turn a bit.”
According to our source, given that “Duck Dynasty” boasts such a big cast, losing a cast member won’t prevent them from moving ahead with the popular series, even if it ends up being fashioned as more of a “spin-off.” But the creative team still faces some major problems as Phil is ultimately the leader of the family and the source of many “words of wisdom” parlayed to the grandkids. He is also the founder of the multi-million dollar Duck Commander business the show features, and thus his absence is likely going to hurt.
Some think these problems – paired with Robertson’s comments — are insurmountable.
“Phil Robertson’s rambling and widely offensive remarks in GQ magazine are likely the last quacks we’re going to hear from ‘Duck Dynasty.’ A&E simply cannot afford to continue airing the program without inciting protests not only from LGBT groups, but also from groups supporting African American and rural interests,” crisis communications expert Gene Grabowski, VP of Levick Strategic Communications, said. “What’s more, few advertisers will risk supporting ‘Duck Dynasty’ because of these devastating remarks and renewed focus on a show that invites ridicule of stereotypically rural families.”
And while some have mulled the idea that perhaps “Duck Dynasty” could move to another network home if Phil isn’t welcomed back into the fold, another key player in the reality production arena argues otherwise.
“There isn’t a network out there that would do things differently, with all their major corporate conglomerate ties, they’d all follow a similar course as A&E has,” said the source. “It’s likely the beginning of the end for ‘Duck Dynasty.'”