A&E's Duck Dynasty is a ratings powerhouse — this past summer, its fourth season aired as the most watched nonfiction show in cable history. This was before star Phil Robertson made some very controversial and offensive comments about gay people to magazine GQ, including that leading a homosexual life was a sin against God. Rather than apologizing for his comments, Robertson stood by what he said, essentially rolling his eyes at the controversy. But while A&E allowed Robertson back on the TV show without an apology — upsetting both viewers and networks, who saw A&E as caving to the talent — A&E clearly did not see the consequences of their actions.
According to reports, Duck Dynasty is now down 28% in ratings from the Season 4 premiere. That's over a quarter of their viewers. What happened to the show? While it's pure speculation, one can only assume that not all viewers were too keen on hearing Robertson's offensive stance on the people within the gay community. It's pretty ignorant for A&E to think that viewers can completely ignore Robertson's comments. I can't imagine too many people would feel comfortable laughing along with Robertson after getting a glimpse into his personal belief system.
Yes, everyone is allowed different opinions — even if the opinions offend a major population. But I, for one, am not comfortable with giving Phil Robertson and his family my time — I don't support his beliefs and frankly find them dangerous. I doubt I am alone in this opinion.
We might not be able to change how Phil Robertson thinks, but we certainly don't have to validate it by continuing to watch his show.