The dynasty is ending (on television). On Wednesday, A&E announced that Duck Dynasty‘s current season will be its last.
The A&E reality series — which follows the Robertsons, a professional duck hunting family in Louisiana — has been a controversy magnet during its 11-season run. On camera, it was all duck calls and beards; off camera, there have been many stir-ups in the media due to Duck patriarch Phil Robertson. Read on to review the controversies.
1. He was suspended for racist and anti-gay comments
Robertson made headlines in 2013 after GQ published an interview in which he made racist and anti-gay comments. In the interview, Robertson called homosexuality a sin, likening it to beastilaity, and said that black people were happy in pre-civil-rights-era Louisiana. Naturally, this sparked a lot of outrage, and A&E announced Robertson would be suspended from the show; however, the network reversed that decision nine days later.
A year after this dust-up, Robertson said he wasn’t homophobic and explained the remarks he made about black people. “I’m as much of a homophobe as Jesus was. People who are participating in homosexual behavior, they need to know that I love them,” he told Good Morning America in 2014. “There’s one race on this planet. It’s called the human race… We’re all the same. To me, there is absolutely nothing that has color to do with it.”
2. He said STDs are punishment
“God says, ‘One woman, one man,’ and everyone says, ‘Oh, that’s old hat, that’s that old Bible stuff,'” Robertson said in an interview with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in 2015. “But I’m thinking, well, let’s see now. A clean guy — a disease-free guy and a disease-free woman — they marry and they keep their sex between the two of them. They’re not going to get chlamydia, and gonorrhea, and syphilis, and AIDS. It’s safe.”
He continued: “Either it’s the wildest coincidence ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct, or, it’s God saying, ‘There’s a penalty for that kind of conduct.’ I’m leaning towards there’s a penalty for it.”
3. He supported the North Carolina anti-transgender bathroom law
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robertson joined forces with Citizens United to support North Carolina’s bathroom law — which critics say discriminates against the transgender community because it would force people to use restrooms in accordance with the gender on their birth certificate — by sending out an email asking for donations.
“Men should use the men’s bathroom and women should use the women’s bathroom,” he wrote in the email, according to THR. “Just because a man may ‘feel’ like a woman doesn’t mean he should be able to share a bathroom with my daughter, or yours. That used to be called common sense. Now it’s called bigoted.”
4. He shared an extreme plan for handling ISIS
For some reason, Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked the reality star what he thought about terrorist groups like ISIS when Robertson appeared on Hannity in 2015 to promote his book unPHILtered: The Way I See It. “In this case, you either have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying either convert them or kill them,” he said.
He continued: “I’d much rather have a Bible study with all of them and show them the error of their ways and point them to Jesus Christ… However, if it’s a gunfight and a gunfight alone, if that’s what they’re looking for, me personally, I am prepared for either one.”
5. He condemned atheists
In March 2015, Robertson stirred up controversy once more with a speech he gave at the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast. According to Right Wing Watch, he condemned atheists with a frightening hypothetical story about an atheist forced to watch his wife and daughters be raped and killed.