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Duck Dynasty vs. A&E: Money vs. Principle

Written by Gary North on December 19, 2013

Phil Robertson has been fired by A&E. This, despite his public statement:

I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

He has painted the rest of the family into a corner. Will they the plug on the show? They might as well. Phil’s absence will send a message to the audience: this isn’t funny any more. “Where’s Phil?” They know where Phil is.

I do not see how the show can go on as before. The light-hearted plots will no longer be amusing. The stakes are too high.

Willie Robertson is already worth $20 million. He does not need the money.

Duck Commander is no longer a cottage industry. It has revenues of $40 million a year. My guess: the good old boys will not stop buying Duck Commander duck calls in protest. The money will continue to roll in.

The show has Willie at the center, but Phil is the patriarch. The positioning of the show depends on Phil.

As for the other family members, what is the price of success? Will they boycott the show? “No Phil . . . no show!”

This is the moment of truth for the Robertsons. If they boycott, it will be the moment of truth for A&E.

On both sides, it would then boil down to this: principle vs. money. How could either side back down?

If A&E is really committed, it will cancel the re-runs, too. To leave them on the air will be to promote Phil’s views indirectly — insufficient negative sanctions. There is no way around this. What kind of family values does A&E want to promote? Phil Robertson has painted A&E into a corner.

Drudge has put this as his lead story, so this cannot be hidden.


This is going to be big news for weeks.

It’s the cultural gunfight at the OK (or Not) Corral.

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