The fourth season of Duck Dynasty premiered last week to great success. The show had 11.8 million viewers, a new record for a non-fiction cable series and 2.2 million more than the show’s previous high. The episode beat the finales of shows like HBO’s True Blood and NBC’s Crossing Lines.
The success has been so widespread that some are calling on Willie Robertson, the show’s main star, to run for office—and local officials in the Louisiana GOP have been courting him. Robertson himself has said that he would consider it. Unfortunately it seems that many aren’t particularly interested in him as a candidate. Forty-one percent of residents recently polled think he shouldn’t run for office.
Nevertheless, Duck Dynasty is a franchise that gives no indication of slowing down. I saw towels at Target decorated with the faces of its stars. Their presence is ubiquitous. Yet the show and the Robertsons refuse to compromise their traditional Christian values. I commented in the past that their success must make liberal heads explode, but it seems they aren’t done yet.
Indeed, as they gain more notoriety they are becoming even more outspoken on topics of politics and culture. Phil Robertson recently condemned abortion in the strongest terms:
“You have a God-given right to live inside your mother, to debate whether it’s right or wrong to rip you out of your mother’s womb? What in the world has happened to us?…I’ll tell you it doesn’t take 150 years – we start ripping babies out of wombs,” Robertson said. “They should’ve listened to Thomas Jefferson. You have a God-given right to live, for crying out loud…We debate whether some woman has the right to tear you out of there a piece at a time? Come on!”
And it’s not just Phil speaking out for Christian values. Jase and Missy Robertson recently made a passionate case for waiting until marriage to have sex. (Full video below.) They point to their own lives and argue that they are more content by following God’s design for their lives. Sadly for Jase, he is still confused for a homeless man from time to time, which led to him getting kicked out of a New York hotel. He claims to be a victim of facial profiling.
There is a temptation to point to their conservative Christian values as the reason they are such a success. That undoubtedly plays a role, but the show is also just funny. The Robertsons are clearly having fun and have found a way to share that with their audience. That fun is rooted in their faith and their family.