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'Duck Dynasty' family issues an ultimatum: No Phil, no show (w/video)

20

December

Oh, it is on like Ducky Kong. the Duck Dynasty family issued a statement Thursday evening supporting patriarch Phil Robertson and throwing the future of their successful hit reality show into question.

The family thanked fans for their support, and acknowledged that  some of Phil Robertson's comments to a GQ reporter were "coarse" but "grounded in the teachings of the Bible."  The family made it clear that it isn't happy about the cable channel's decision to put patriarch Phil Robertson, 67, on "indefinite" hiatus from filming after anti-gay remarks he made in the January issue of GQ that also pined for the days of Jim Crow laws when blacks were happy. The uproar has prompted a debate about free speech and the consequences of speaking freely when you are a public figure.

"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."

Season 5 of the series is set to debut Jan. 15. Filming has finished and Robertson is featured in the 10 episodes. The series regularly sets cable TV rating records for A&E.

What I'm waiting for is a producer or editor on the show to reveal whether some of Robertson's "colorful" views have been expressed on film and edited out. If that turns out to be the case, the network would look pretty foolish for its statement issued earlier this week when it said:  "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," the network said in a statement Wednesday. "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."

If it turns out he has been open about this in the past and it was simply edited out to create the lovable family that sets record ratings, where does that leave A&E?

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[Last modified: Friday, December 20, 2013 1:04pm]

    

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