Stock:
Symbol Lookup
Register | Login
...
History
...
...

Pre Market | Dow Jones | Gold | Newsletters | Learn


'Duck Dynasty' Phil Robertson Controversy Bad For A&E's Business

Friday, December 20, 2013 10:39 AM

When you’re a lesser known network buried deep in the lineups of most people’s cable box, it’s not every day that you create a hit that becomes the most popular show on cable TV and gains a viral following that makes it a household name.

A&E, a joint venture between privately owned Hearst Corporation and Disney (NYSE:DIS), did that with Pawn Stars and to an even larger degree, Duck Dynasty.

Even if you don’t watch the show, you’ve likely heard of it.

The show centers on the Robertson family, who found fame and riches through their family owned business, Duck Commander—a company that makes products for duck hunters in West Monroe, Louisiana.

The season four premiere in August had a viewership of 11.7 million—a 37 percent increase over the season three premiere making it the most watched nonfiction series in the history of cable television.

For Halloween, Duck Dynasty topped the list of most searched costume ideas on Yahoo, according to a Yahoo! trend report.

Statistics prove that the show is huge and that’s why the latest controversy has to have A&E executives wondering what to do.

On Wednesday, the network suspended Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson because of remarks he made about homosexuals and African Americans in an interview with GQ magazine.

Related: Target’s Best 2013 Christmas Tech Deals

Robertson, a self-professed Christian along with the rest of the Robertson family, said that homosexuality is a sin and used what many considered to be graphic language to describe his stance. On African Americans, he said, “I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field. ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word!”

A&E quickly released a statement saying they were “extremely disappointed” with Robertson’s remarks and had suspended him.

This has caused a firestorm of opinions, many expressing support of Robertson’s right to express his views while others, like the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign call the remarks insensitive. By Friday morning, however, more than 75,000 people had signed a petition to bring back Phil Robertson.

A&E’s problem is with the future of the show.

Phil Robertson’s suspension didn’t sit well with the rest of the family.

The family said, "We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty,

Losing Duck Dynasty would be a major hit to the company’s bottom line but reinstating Robertson could be a PR nightmare for the company.  

Whether this is the end of Duck Dynasty isn’t known but what is safe to say is that A&E will find it hard to make this go away without losing viewers.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker had no position in the company mentioned.

(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

PRINT

FREE Options Trading Lessons
I'll show you how to unlock HUGE Gains with Options Trading
Let's make 2014 the year you get RICH!
5 Must-Download Apps Before Visiting Disney World, Universal Studios And More5 Must-Download Apps Before Visiting Disney World, Universal Studios And More
These are the apps that everyone should download before their next big vacation. 1. My Disney Experience Up until now, Disney World (NYSE: DIS ) might have been the one place where consumers ...
6 Major Retailers Starting Back-To-School Campaigns6 Major Retailers Starting Back-To-School Campaigns
It may still be summer, but as far as retailers are concerned, it`s time to get ready to go back to school. Retailers already gearing up include  Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ), ...
Markets Sell-Off After Malaysian Airline Crash In UkraineMarkets Sell-Off After Malaysian Airline Crash In Ukraine
U.S. stocks sold off after news reports began to surface that a Malaysian Airlines jet has crashed in Ukraine. While details have yet to be confirmed, a Ukraine minister claimed that the plane, whic...
6 Companies That Could Acquire AMC Networks6 Companies That Could Acquire AMC Networks
Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA ) stunned investors Wednesday when it was revealed that the company offered to acquire Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) for $80 billion. The deal (which valued ...
Time Warner, Twenty-First Century Fox Rumor Put Peer Companies In PlayTime Warner, Twenty-First Century Fox Rumor Put Peer Companies In Play
Several peer companies are in play after CNBC reported that Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) rejected an offer from Twenty-First Century Fox (NYSE: FOXA ) at $85 per share. In addition to Time Warner ...
Winners & Losers Of World Cup 2014Winners & Losers Of World Cup 2014
Germany claimed its fourth World Cup title when it defeated Argentina 1-0 in extended extra time. Considered one of the favorites going into the tournament, Germany `s win wasn`t surprising, but ...

Loading Headlines...
 

Stock Market

Track the stock market today with the latest news and information on all things investing! Watch your stocks perform throughout the day and watch the breaking stock market news.

Feedback | disclaimer | privacy policy

Stock Market News

The Stock Market is ever changing. Keep up on your stock market news.

Stock Market Newsletters

Read up on your favorite stock market newsletters.


Learn the Stock Market

Sharper your stock trading skills with our stock market education section.