Duck Dynasty may have actually been amongst the most popular reality TV shows in the day, yet it was not without dispute throughout that is 11 season run. The collection followed the stays of the business man behind the hugely successful company Duck Commander, which produced ducks calls and other products for duck hunters. That featured patriarch Phil Robertson, his wife miss Kay, and their children and also extended family members members as they ran the outfit; it was so popular that during its heyday, the family was raking in the moolah not just in sales, but also in goods from apparel to video games.

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The series aired top top A&E, and also the family"s relationship with the network wasn"t constantly smooth. Phil, in particular, frequently butted heads v network brass, and also was even banned native the present indefinitely in 2013 ~ an well known interview through GQ, during which he contrasted homosexuality to bestiality and suggested that black people were exaggerating what their ancestors suffered during the Jim crow era.

The network approve a statement complying with Phil"s interview, and it wasn"t precisely one the expressed assistance for the duck hunting patriarch. "We are exceptionally disappointed to have actually read Phil Robertson"s comment in GQ, which are based upon his own an individual beliefs and also not reflected in the collection Duck Dynasty," the declare read. 


Make no mistake, the debate damaged the clan"s connection not just with A&E, however with your viewers, together well. Phil was also briefly suspended native his own show — and while the brouhaha wasn"t entirely to blame for the show"s cancellation, there can be no doubt that it absolutely contributed come the network ultimately opting to traction the duck hunters indigenous the air.


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A&E
At the moment of the cancellation announcement, issued shortly after the season 11 premiere, the network and also family authorize a share statement to say the it had been a shared decision. 

"After 5 years, 130 episodes and also one of the best hits in the background of cable, the Robertson family and A&E jointly made decision that Duck Dynasty, the series, will concerned an finish after this season," the network"s explain said; accompanying it was a video clip of the Robertson family members making the announcement.


There is one thing, yet that can not be ignored: the truth that the show"s ratings dropped significantly in 2014, after Phil publicly aired his views on homosexuality and his perception of the pre-Civil legal rights era. The number don"t lie, and viewers were just tuning out following the controversy. The GQ item ran in between seasons 4 and 5; by the finish of that 5th season, viewership had dropped by 2.4 million from the ahead season"s document breaking numbers. Through their beliefs taking ~ above a whole new light in the eyes of the public, the duck hunting family members from Louisiana simply weren"t the benign presence that they had actually once been in the residences of your audience.


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Alex Wong/Getty Images
Unfortunately, Phil shows up to have actually not learned lot from the situation; he ongoing to do controversial comments in the media, even while Duck Dynasty was still airing. In 2015 and also 2016 alone, he stated that STDs are punishment because that premarital sex, offered a quite horrendous hypothetical for what the figured atheists must suffer through, and also aligned himself with Citizens united to block the transgender bathroom law in north Carolina — every while Duck Dynasty"s viewership continued to dwindle. 


The New York Times suggested another potential factor for the show"s decline: over-exposure, and also the revelation that much of the display was staged. Most renowned television shows produce one season every year, while Duck Dynasty to be airing two, offering viewers an not suitable amount the the homespun humor offered up by the Robertsons. There"s also the fact that regardless of the "reality" part of reality TV often being a little bit of a misnomer, viewers usually prefer to believe that what they"re see is, girlfriend know, actual — and also the Robertsons appeared happy to recognize that their collection fell an ext into the dubious group of "guided reality."

Perhaps since they foresaw the finish of the show, numerous of the Robertson clan likewise had various other commitments by the time Duck Dynasty to be canceled. Sadie join the cast of Dancing v The Stars, Willie went on the campaign trail for Donald Trump, Uncle Si got actors in a spin-off series, and also a variety of family members chose to capitalize top top Duck Dynasty"s success by creating books.

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While there"s no single reason the the present was canceled, it"s fair to say the the 2013 controversy caused a sort of snowball effect which ultimately led come A&E"s decision to traction the plug. Don"t feel too poor for the Robertsons, though; Duck Commander has actually remained an very successful business for the family, and also it"ll likely proceed to be because that as lengthy as there space ducks to hunt.