The Duck Dynasty family’s patriarch, Phil Robertson, probably expected one day, that being a hunter, he’d come under fire by animal-rightists. It happened last month, when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) decided to blast “Duck Dynasty,” the A&E television show that had 11.4 million viewers in its 2013 debut episode, making it cable/satellite TV’s most-popular non-fiction telecast.
PETA’s angst? That Duck Dynasty promotes hunting, which is pretty natural since the entire Robertson clan lives in West Monroe, La. – and off the land — as do about 90 percent of that state’s rural residents. That includes shooting wild game and catching fish, crawfish and gators and knowing delicious Cajun recipes for them.
The show is basically about family’s duck-call business, started by Phil and now run by one of his sons, Willie. The plot is straight out of “I Love Lucy,” but the cast are hairy-faced Cajuns who hunt, fish, make hunting supplies, t-shirts and videos – and more money than PETA could imagine.
But, Dan Mathews, PETA vice president, said the show encourages would-be criminals.
“Unfortunately, hunting programs teach kids that violence is somehow acceptable,” Mathews told radaronline.com, according to news reports. “According to law-enforcement agencies, violent and aggressive criminals often start out as kids who were encouraged to disrespect and harm animals rather than understanding and being in awe of them.”
Hunting is the No. 1 supporter of wildlife agencies that try to conserve and expand wildlife populations. Nearly every state has hunter-safety programs to teach youngsters the importance of safety, the rationale for hunting and the need to be involved in conservation on local, state and national levels.
British singer “Morrissey” also took a gratuitous shot at Duck Dynasty, cancelling a September appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show on NBC after he heard Duck Dynasty cast members would appear. Morrisey said he wouldn’t perform on a show with individuals who were “animal serial killers.”
Kimmel later asked Morrisey to come on his show.
“If you have more dumb statements to make, I invite you to make them where I do, on my show. This has nothing to do with people who eat meat versus people who don’t. I’m completely respectful of people who do not eat meat, but the statement (Morrisey) made is ridiculous. I’d like to invite him to join the show to discuss. I’m an open, even-handed person, and I consider all points of view,” he said.
Phil Robertson ends each episode praying over dinner with members of his family gathered around the table, heads bowed, eyes closed, and holding hands.
Little wonder PETA and Morrisey don’t like Duck Dynasty.