The return of A&E’s Duck Dynasty all but guarantees big ratings for the network. The show is a cultural sensation complete with best-selling books and musical side projects.
That was before show patriarch Phil Robertson’s comments to GQ ignited a cultural firestorm, one which temporarily got him suspended from the series.
The first episode from season 5, airing at 10 p.m. EST tonight on A&E, caps a surreal series of events for the reality show smash. Robertson’s quotes regarding homosexuality, thoughts routinely taken out of context or twisted by the press, convinced A&E to suspend him indefinitely from the series.
Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
And if that wasn’t explicit enough, the “Duck Commander” added: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.
That sparked outrage from organizations like GLAAD and unwavering support from Tea Party favorite Gov. Sarah Palin. New Media outlets allowed the show’s fans to speak up on its behalf. Robertson’s time away from the show ended up being less than two weeks long after A&E reversed its decision.