What happened to Duck Dynasty? It’s been one year since the reality show ended its run on A&E and even though we still don’t quite know why it ended, we suspect family patriarch Phil Robertson might be to blame…
Here’s what we do know: The Robertson family revealed the show’s imminent end just after the Season 11 premiere in 2016. “We’ve decided as a family for this to be the final chapter of the Duck Dynasty series,” Jase Robertson said in the video announcement. Korie Robertson chimed in to say that the fam might be back for “a special for two,” but we haven’t seen the duck call-making family on A&E since the Duck Dynasty‘s series finale on March 29, 2017.
“After five years, 130 episodes and one of the biggest hits in the history of cable, the Robertson family and A&E jointly decided that Duck Dynasty, the series, will come to an end after this season,” the network said in a statement released in conjunction with the video.
But how mutual was that decision? The ratings had been in a free fall since 2013, when it ranked as the most-watched non-fiction series telecast in cable TV history. 1.5 million viewers watched the series finale, for example, while six times as many viewers watched the Season 3 finale.
Coincidentally or not, Phil Robertson made racist and homophobic comments in GQ in 2013, the same year the ratings started dropping. He told the magazine that black people were “happy” in Louisiana prior to the Civil Rights Era and that homosexuality was a “sin” akin to bestiality.
In the wake of that GQ interview, A&E suspended Phil. But nine days later, apparently bowing to public pressure, the network reinstated him.
Those weren’t the last anti-LGBTQ comments Phil made, unfortunately. He also supported anti-transgender bathroom bills. “Just because a man may ‘feel’ like a woman doesn’t mean he should be able to share a bathroom with my daughter, or yours,” he said in an email sent out to conservatives in 2016, per The Hollywood Reporter. “That used to be called common sense. Now it’s called bigoted.”
And as Entertainment Weekly has recapped, the 71-year-old has also espoused controversial views on STDs, ISIS, and atheists. With all that in mind, maybe it’s better that this guy doesn’t have a nationally televised program anymore.
Fans have been keeping up with Phil’s children via social media, and Willie Robertson’s wife Korie recently shared a sweet tribute to him on his 46th birthday. If you’re curious about where Phil, Willie, and the rest of the Robertson family members are now, we have you covered.