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Duck Dynasty Ratings Take A Dive Following The Phil Robertson Controversy

January 17, 2014 12:07 PM by Suzy Kerr

Looks like people’s feathers are still a little ruffled following the Phil Robertson controversy last month. The Duck Dynasty star launched a firestorm with his homophobic and racially charged comments in a GQ interview in December, and now the series might be paying the ultimate price.

The season 5 premiere of Duck Dynasty aired Wednesday night, and as the number 2 show on cable TV right now, A&E execs expected a heavy turnout of viewers. I guess they were pretty surprised (or maybe not, all things considered) to see a nearly 30 percent drop in viewers as compared to the previous season opener.While season 4 debuted with a record 11.8 million viewers, season 5 netted 8.5 million. Okay yeah, 8.5 million is still a crapload of people watching The Bearded Ones, but it’s also a significant drop for the series, which had previously been predicted to rein in even more viewers.

Of course, one can only speculate that the decrease in viewership is directly related to patriarch Phil Robertson’s comments during his GQ interview last month. During the interview, Phil compared gay people to drunks and terrorists and said that black people were happier before the Civil Rights movement. Naturally, controversy ensued, with both critics and supporters sounding off about Phil’s statements, and A&E making a quick decision to suspend Phil from the show. While Phil never apologized for his remarks, saying that he would not back down from his beliefs, the network ultimately decided to reverse their decision and let Phil rejoin his family on TV.

And he did, too. Phil’s role in the season 5 premiere wasn’t huge, but he was still there. He opened the first show and then finished off the second one by – big surprise – leading a family prayer. I would venture a guess that, even with a drop in viewers, the duck guys aren’t going anywhere for a while, and that includes Phil Robertson.

But what do you think? Do you think Duck Dynasty is doomed, or were people just super busy Wednesday night and couldn’t tune in? Tell us in the comments!

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Photo Credit: A&E

Topics: A&E Reality TV Shows, Duck Dynasty |

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