After family patriarch Phil Robertson’s racist and homophobic remarks during a GQ interview, Duck Dynasty’s viewership has dropped by nearly 50%.
When Duck Dynasty returned for their fourth season last year, their premiere episode was watched 11.77 million people. After Phil Robertson’s racist and homophobic remarks season five debuted to 8.5 million viewers. The second episode of the season dropped to 6.65 million viewers. The third episode stayed nearly even with episode two at 6.7 million viewers. By the fourth episode the show rebounded to 7.49 million viewers, but last night’s fifth episode dropped to new low of 6.51 million viewers.
While these are still really good numbers for a cable show, Duck Dynasty is no longer in the same league as AMC’s ratings phenom The Walking Dead. Phil Robertson’s racist and homophobic comments to GQ definitely pushed viewers away from the show. Beneath beards and duck calls, millions of Americans found an ugly intolerance for others that they refuse to support.
When Republicans and right wingers like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Fox News support a show, that’s a good sign that a program has fallen out of the mainstream, and their ratings are about to take a tumble. There aren’t enough right wingers out there to support the kind of extremism and hate that Phil Robertson was preaching.
More viewers are leaving Duck Dynasty by the week, because the United States is not a conservative country. The Obama years have demonstrated that the nation is moving left, not right. Duck Dynasty is slowly fading away. The show still dominates the Wednesday night cable ratings, but there aren’t enough right wing Republicans in this country to take the place of the millions who stopped watching the show after Robertson’s remarks.
Nearly 6 million television consumers have decided that they don’t want to spend their evenings with the Robertsons. Hate and intolerance have not been rewarded. Almost half of Duck Dynasty’s audience is gone, and more are deciding not to tune in each week.
Phil Robertson is free to hate minorities and gays, but viewers also have the freedom to not watch his show.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association