Duck Dynasty may have been among the most popular reality TV reflects in that is day, yet it was not without debate throughout that 11 season run. The series followed the stays of the businessman behind the hugely successful agency Duck Commander, which manufactured ducks calls and also other products for duck hunters. It featured patriarch Phil Robertson, his wife miss out on Kay, and also their children and also extended household members as they ran the outfit; it to be so famous that throughout its heyday, the family was raking in the moolah not simply in sales, but likewise in merchandise from clothing to video clip games.

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

The network issued a statement complying with Phil"s interview, and it wasn"t exactly one the expressed support for the duck searching patriarch. "We are incredibly disappointed to have actually read Phil Robertson"s comment in GQ, i m sorry are based on his own an individual beliefs and also not reflect in the series Duck Dynasty," the statement read. 


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


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A&E
At the time of the cancellation announcement, issued soon after the season 11 premiere, the network and family authorize a share statement come say that it had been a mutual decision. 

"After 5 years, 130 episodes and also one of the greatest hits in the background of cable, the Robertson family and also A&E jointly decided that Duck Dynasty, the series, will involved an end 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 cannot be ignored: the reality that the show"s ratings dropped dramatically in 2014, after Phil publicly aired his see on homosexuality and his perception of the pre-Civil rights era. The numbers don"t lie, and also viewers were merely tuning out adhering to the controversy. The GQ item ran in between seasons 4 and also 5; by the end of that fifth season, viewership had dropped by 2.4 million native the ahead season"s record breaking numbers. V their beliefs taking on a whole new light in the eyes of the public, the duck hunting family from Louisiana just weren"t the benign existence 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 continued to make controversial comments in the media, even while Duck Dynasty was still airing. In 2015 and 2016 alone, he declared that STDs are punishment for premarital sex, readily available a quite horrendous theoretical for what he figured atheists should suffer through, and also aligned himself with Citizens joined to block the transgender bathroom regulation in phibìc Carolina — every while Duck Dynasty"s viewership ongoing to dwindle. 


The New York Times suggested an additional potential reason for the show"s decline: over-exposure, and the revelation that lot of the present was staged. Most famous television shows create one season per year, while Duck Dynasty was airing two, giving viewers an inordinate amount of the homespun humor available up through the Robertsons. There"s also the truth that regardless of the "reality" component of reality TV frequently being a bit of a misnomer, viewers usually prefer to think that what they"re see is, girlfriend know, real — and the Robertsons appeared happy to recognize that their collection fell an ext into the dubious group of "guided reality."

Perhaps because they foresaw the finish of the show, many of the Robertson clan also had various other commitments by the time Duck Dynasty was canceled. Sadie join the cast of Dancing with The Stars, Willie walk on the campaign trail for Donald Trump, Uncle Si got actors in a spin-off series, and also a number of family members decided to capitalize on Duck Dynasty"s success by composing books.

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While there"s no single reason the the show was canceled, it"s fair to say the the 2013 debate caused a sort of snowball impact which ultimately led come A&E"s decision to traction the plug. Don"t feeling too bad for the Robertsons, though; Duck Commander has remained an incredibly successful company for the family, and it"ll likely continue to be because that as lengthy as there are ducks come hunt.