The Duck Dynasty controversy: What does this mean for the reality series?

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“Duck Dynasty” is one of the biggest reality show hits on television currently, and the series has been at the center of a huge controversy in recent days. Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the A&E series, started the controversy with an interview released last week by GQ. Once the interview was live, the chaos began. “Duck Dynasty” became the talk of the town, and it was a major topic on Fox News and other media outlets. Everyone had a reaction to the story, and it was all over the news. If you’re not a fan of the show, what is the big fuss about? If you are, find out the latest here.

Phil Robertson and his family are at the center of “Duck Dynasty”. They have very strong religious beliefs, and they have never hid them from anyone. They are a part of the series. In this GQ interview, Robertson made anti-gay comments, and it is those comments that caused the chaos and media buzz when the interview was released on Wednesday. By Wednesday night, A&E decided the chaos was too much, and they suspended Phil Robertson from the series indefinitely. A&E’s statement via E! Online said the following:

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series “Duck Dynasty”. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

This statement and Phil’s suspension added only more chaos to the situation. Fans of the series wondered about the future of the series. Some fans even started a petition to have Phil brought back to the show. Over 300,000 signatures have been received on the petition so far. The Facebook page for the petition has over a million likes as well.

A day later, Phil’s family made their own statement that further put the fate of the series in question.  In a statement posted to their website, the family said that they ‘cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.’  At that time, the family was in talks with the network about the future of the series.

Since the family’s statement was released on Thursday, the buzz surrounding this story has only continued. Cracker Barrel started to pull some “Duck Dynasty” items off their shelves, but they changed their minds on Sunday after negative reaction to the move. Charlie Sheen even went to his own Twitter to blast Phil Robertson for his anti-gay remarks. According to Los Angeles Times, A&E warned Phil in the past about being too vocal about his beliefs.

What does Phil’s suspension mean for the series? Right now, nothing. A&E has already filmed most of season five. That season will premiere in January, and Phil Robertson will appear in those episodes that air. The suspension has an impact on the production of future episodes. That puts season six in doubt if this situation continues.

However, if Robertson family cannot reach an agreement with A&E about the series, another network will likely step up to pick up the show, according to TMZ. Both Hunt Channel and Pursuit Channel have expressed interest in picking up the series if A&E drops “Duck Dynasty” completely. If that happens, the Robertson family will have to wait a bit though. Their contract with A&E prohibits the show from being done immediately by another network if the show is canceled.

What do you think? Are you a “Duck Dynasty” fan? Have you been following the controversy since it began? Will you tune in to watch the series when it returns? Season five of “Duck Dynasty” will premiere on Jan. 15.

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