Retailer cites 'mistake' in its reaction to Phil Robertson-A&E Network controversy
Tennesse-based retailer Cracker Barrel did a quick about-face on Sunday and restored “Duck Dynasty”-related products to its shelves, barely two days after pulling some items out of fear of offending customers.
Execs with the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chain undoubtedly responded to the overwhelming number of critical comments on its Facebook page after it posted a statement Friday explaining that it was yanking some items related to the A&E Network show and from the company run by the Robertson family at the center of the show.
On Sunday, Cracker Barrel, posted another statement on Facebook acknowledging what it described as its “mistake.”
The Cracker Barrel flip-flop is just one example of the polarizing controversy that has raged around the hit reality show ever since patriarch Phil Roberston was quoted in a GQ magazine article making inflammatory statements about homosexuals and other groups.
A&E moved swiftly to suspend Robertson from shooting future episodes of the show . That move spurred a response from other family members suggesting that they would not continue the show without Robertson.
Since issuing the statement on Thursday, family members have kept mostly mum despite the flood of media coverage of A&E’s response and the backlash among some conservative and Christian orgs to the suspension. One of Phil Robertson’s sons, Jep Robertson, did not address the issue in a previously scheduled public appearance in Atlanta.
Another relative featured on the show, John Godwin, was to appear Sunday evening at the “Rhett Neck Christmas Extravaganza” concert event in Lima, Ohio headlined by the Rhett Walker Band gospel group.
Here is Cracker Barrel’s complete statement on its “Duck Dynasty” sales reversal:
Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:
When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.
You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.
Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
And, we apologize for offending you.
We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.
We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.