This Theory About Why ‘Duck Dynasty’ Got Canceled Makes So Much Sense

It wasn’t too long ago that the A&E reality show Duck Dynasty was one of the most popular on television. Though the Robertson family was always an unlikely band of celebrities, their quirkiness is what added to the appeal and kept fans watching. For eleven seasons, people couldn’t get enough of the Duck Dynasty world.

But then seemingly out of nowhere in 2016, Jase Robertson made a video announcement confirming the end of the series. “We’ve decided as a family for this to be the final chapter of the Duck Dynasty series,” he said. Though the family alluded to a special or two in the future, so far, that hasn’t happened.

What brought down Duck Dynasty? It was a few things.

The Robertson family
Phil Robertson, Willie Robertson, Jase Robertson, and Si Robertson | Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

‘Duck Dynasty’ used to be incredibly popular

At the height of its fame, the show was the most-watched nonfiction series in the history of cable, according to Country Living. But with all the fame came plenty of critics as well, and eventually, controversies plagued the family.

Duck Dynasty was a reality show documenting the lives of the Robertson family. The Louisiana-based reality stars made a fortune with the invention of their duck call, the Duck Commander. The series was based on the Robertson men and women including brothers Phil and Si, and Phil’s sons Jase, Willie, and Jep, plus their wives and children.

At the height of its fame, the show earned $80 million in advertising sales in 2013 plus $400 million in merchandise revenue, including Duck Dynasty-scented candles. It also received nominations for the Teen Choice Awards and Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Reality Series.

Ratings started dropping after Phil Robertson made controversial comments

Though it’s unclear exactly why, ratings went way down in 2014. TV Line reported (via Country Living) that the season premiere viewers “dropped more than 40 percent from its previous opener.”

What had happened to make people stop watching? It’s unclear, but it might have something to do with statements Phil Robertson made about “homosexual behavior” being sinful during a 2013 GQ interview. That was just one of several instances of Phil bringing up controversial topics.

Later, Robertson defended his stance saying he was a “product of the ’60s” but has since “accepted Jesus as my savior.” He said, “I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me.”

A&E suspended Phil following the interview but reinstated him to the cast nine days later. The Robertsons are strict conservative Christians and were outspoken about their views both on and off the show.

Phil Robertson
Phil Robertson | NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

People might have been sick of ‘Duck Dynasty’

It’s unclear whether fans were boycotting the show because of Phil’s statements or if they were just bored with the premise. But either way, the Robertson family was already successful before the show and maintained their fortunes after it, too. Many cast members moved on to other projects.

For example, Uncle Si got a spinoff show on A&E called, Going Si-Ral.  The series lasted one season.

They say all good things must come to an end. Even though fans loved Duck Dynasty once upon a time, they clearly weren’t interested in keeping up with the Robertsons anymore.