Why Duck Dynasty Was Right Even if You Think Phil Robertson Was Wrong

Duck Dynasty TV show

I have both liberal and conservative friends, and they have completely opposite views as to whether what Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty said about gays was right or wrong. That issue can be debated for hours, and I’m sure that it will continuously be debated with vigor over the next few weeks. What I haven’t seen mention is that from a teaching what’s important about money prospective, what the Duck Dynasty clan did was the correct move even if you don’t agree with what Phil Robertson said.

Duck Dynasty is a financial juggernaut that basically prints money. It’s estimated that the family earns about $200,000 per episode, and huge amounts more on product licensing from the show. When the A&E network suspended Phil Robertson for the comments he made in GQ magazine, their intention wasn’t to stop the show or the money flowing, it was to keep the show running without one of the cast members for a period of time. By taking the stand that they were not willing to work without their patriarch, the family told the world that one if its members was more important to them than the money from the show.

Think about it. By foregoing the show, the Duck Dynasty clan is turning its back on over a million dollars. Yes, they are already wealthy and they’ll do fine without it, but that’s still a lot of money to say “no thank you” to in order to make a point. My guess is that after A&E made the suspension announcement, the family got together and there was a long and heated discussion on what course of action they should take. On one side was the financial perspective that the show earned them a lot of money and it would be stupid to give it up, while on the other side was their convictions and loyalty to family. In the end, they chose their convictions and family over money.

Isn’t that the lesson that we try to teach our children about money? We want them to know that in order to make money, they shouldn’t be willing to compromise their core beliefs. We try to teach them that money isn’t everything and when given a choice, they should stand by their principles over selling out for the money. Again, whether or not you agree with what Phil Robertson said, the Duck Dynasty clan made the correct choice to stand on the principle of their beliefs over earning more money.

While the debate over the words will continue to rage on, it’s too bad that this money lesson will likely be lost over the shouts of who’s right and who’s wrong. With all the greed on Wall Street and society seemingly moving toward an acceptance that it’s OK to do almost anything in the pursuit of another buck, it’s nice to see a family choosing to stand by their family member over the temptation of more money. Wouldn’t it be great if that was a lesson which could internalize and taken away by everyone no matter what side of the debate they happen to be on?

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6 Responses to Why Duck Dynasty Was Right Even if You Think Phil Robertson Was Wrong

  1. JoeP says:

    A&E used language which may appear to some to be a moral statement, but in actuality, they were saying what was required in order to minimize financial loss. It is, after all, a company, and it is its duty.

    The Robertson family has the luxury of being in a position where they can afford to make statements like these, not worry about financial loss (they are well off), and can still find those who agree and are willing to support them.

    A&E has no such luxury: they are a company that depends upon advertisers and subscriptions for income, and an isolated event such as this can jeopardize both, well outside the scope of a single program.

    It would have been more genuine had the company said something like this: “We appreciate Mr. Robertson’s commitment to his beliefs. While the A&E family is comprised of employees, some of whom agree and some of whom disagree with Mr. Robertson’s statements, our company itself holds no official opinion. We leave it to the consumer of our programming to ultimately decide for themselves how they wish to reconcile statements such as these.”

  2. Christina says:

    As someone who disagrees with Phil Robertson’s stated views and who does not share his ideology, I believe he had a constitutional right to share his opinions with GQ magazine, and is not beholden, unless there’s some horrendously constricting contract with “Duck Dynasty” production, to shut up when talking with a media organization unrelated to A&E.

    Weird how some controversy is great for selling books in the United States, but controversial opinion by a television reality show person is perceived as a threat to a show’s income and viewership numbers.

    Weird how Russia imprisons Pussy Riot members, and oppresses gay people, but US Olympics sponsors like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola et al aren’t about to withdraw their funding as a statement of opposition to Russia’s practice of human rights violations. Did Phil Robertson actually violate any human’s rights?

  3. Naomi says:

    I agree 100%. I can’t stand the show, I am not a Bible believer, but A&E doesn’t “own” Phil Robertson. If I get off work and make a statement at the town square that some deem offensive, it’s none of my employer’s business. I’m on my own time and off company property.

    A&E has offensive content now & then, but somehow that doesn’t count as long as their offensive content is profitable.

    People have the right to publicly say “I support gay rights” or “I do not support gay rights.” To allow one side a voice and not the other is censorship. N, if he had called for the attack of all gay people, that would be different. What he said was actually very mild and got twisted out of context. Not a fan, but feel sorry for the dude. It’s just his opinion, which he has a right to express just like anyone else.

  4. eric says:

    in the words of the great suze, ‘people first, then money, then things’..

  5. Gailete says:

    And then there are those of us that don’t know anything about this show, the article or even what A&E shows. But from what is written here, one of the major principals that our country was founded on was freedom of speech. And we are not talking about George Orwell’s “Animal Farm’ freedom, where all animals are created equal but some (the pigs) are more equal that others.

    This is a problem I have seen more and more in our society, if you have a dissenting view on something (that 40-50 years are was the majority view) you are not respected for your view but told flatly that you are wrong or an idiot or similar words. The speaker fully convinced that THEIR view is the ONLY correct one. While for some reason if you try to tell others that they are wrong to are basically told to shut up. Not saying that anyone should be told to be quiet but we equally have the freedom to express our beliefs. More and more you can’t talk religion, politics, lifestyles of any sort, and the list goes on right down to whether a vegan diet is better than a more ‘normal’ one. I remember years ago a woman looked at me like I had two heads because I used real chocolate chips and not carob chips which was her choice but one few people made in that era. I guess that is why the American public is so in need of ‘reality’ shows as the characters on them get to say and do whatever they want and they end up becoming famous public figures for no earthly reason that I can figure out.

    I do believe in freedom of speech and that we all are allowed to have the views that we do as long as our views don’t harm ourselves or anyone else. To hear about a group of people that apparently have a moral compass that comes before their wallet is refreshing though. To many businesses are being run without that moral compass any more and in their almighty quest for the dollar they have lost their dignity and self-respect along the way and certainly doesn’t do their business any good, at least in my opinion.

  6. Jackie says:

    Reading from the Gentleman’s Quarterly, “the three no-compromises were faith, betrayal of family members, and duck season.” That refusal to betray their faith or one another has been a staple of every media article about the Robertson family. It’s their elevator pitch, and it has made them into ideal Christian icons: beloved for staking out a bit of holy ground within the mostly secular, often downright sinful, pop culture of America. ” http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2oQK1H7BM

    I personally doubt there was much heat to any conversation. My money says the decision was made before any contract was signed. NO BETRAYAL. That’s a principal our country can stand on, along with every family, both yours and mine.

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