Brouhaha, suspension will boost Dynasty

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 21, 2013

“If you doubt that the A&E/Phil Robertson saga was carefully planned, negotiated, contracted, executed, and well compensated, then you are the reality TV industry’s ideal customer.”

So opined my brother, the attorney, on Facebook this week.

I have never watched reality TV – unless the news counts – and practically all I knew about Duck Dynasty before this brouhaha erupted that there’s lots of branded items at Walmart this season.

But before you go feeling bad that Phil Robertson was suspended from future filmings of the show because of comments he made to GQ magazine about homosexuality and civil rights, consider my little brother’s opinion. And then think about what Uncle Phil’s comments have done to the show’s popularity.

Critics have called him a racist and homophobe. Supporters have called him a hero, claimed he stands totally for the Bible, and that he is right. Right, right, right.

Some of us just shake our heads and think, “This is supposed to shock us?”

Another illustration that made its way through social media showed a photo of Uncle Phil next to a twerking Miley Cyrus with a caption about the wrong one being silenced. Has it occurred to anyone that they were both boosting their ratings?

“Regardless of the current controversy and behind-the-scenes tension, A&E has every intention of keeping Phil Robertson on the air,” reported Entertainment Weekly on Friday.

“A source close to the situation confirmed that when the network resumes airing new episodes of Duck Dynasty starting Jan. 15, footage featuring the Robertson patriarch will indeed remain intact. The network also hopes the media and fan furor will cool down over the holidays and that tensions over shooting future episodes can then be resolved.

“ ‘There’s no negotiation to have; we’re doing the show,’ said an insider close to the situation. ‘We’ll figure out a solution. It’s just not going to happen overnight. Everybody will take a break for the holidays and regroup afterward. That’s probably the smartest thing for everyone to do. Time heals a lot of wounds.’ “

In other words, they’re going to milk this for all it’s worth.

My little brother was right. So was his conspiracy theorist friend Rob.

I haven’t been out to Walmart to check, but I’d be willing to bet that merchandise has been flying off the shelves.

From what I’ve read, “Uncle Phil” is a smart man.