‘Duck Dynasty’: Jep Robertson Mum About Controversy; Cracker Barrel Pulls Items

'Duck Dynasty': Jep Robertson Mum About

Son of Phil Robertson avoids addressing his father's suspension during Atlanta charity appearance

As the debate rages on about the fate of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, one of his sons kept mum about the turmoil surrounding his family on Saturday during a long-scheduled appearance at a “Duck Dash” 5K marathon in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, the first fallout from the uproar over Phil Robertson’s comments came at Tennessee-based retailer Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, which pulled some “Duck Dynasty” related merchandise from its shelves Saturday out of concern the items “might offend some of our guests.”

“Duck Dynasty” has become a merchandising juggernaut, with all manner of products related to the show and its colorful bearded characters on store shelves this holiday season. The Louisiana-based family made its fortune by selling duck-hunting products through its Duck Commander business, which has only been enhanced by the platform provided by the TV series.

In Atlanta on Saturday, Jep Robertson (pictured), the youngest son of Phil Robertson, only made oblique reference to the firestorm over the A&E Network series that has set ratings records for the cabler this year.

“We’ve had kind of a crazy week back home,” Jep Robertson told the crowd at Turner Field, according to a report on AccessAtlanta.com. “We’ve gotten a lot of support. We really appreciate it.”

The 5K run was a fundraiser for Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The future of “Duck Dynasty” on A&E has been called into question ever since GQ published an interview with the folksy reality star that included inflammatory comments about homosexuals, among other topics. A&E on Wednesday announced that Phil Robertson would be suspended from filming future episodes of the show. On Thursday, the Robertson clan issued a statement supporting Phil and saying they “cannot imagine” the show going forward without him.

The issue of Phil Robertson’s suspension has become a divisive cause celebre, with conservative groups and numerous Christian orgs condemning A&E’s move, while gay advocacy groups and others decry the intolerance reflected in his remarks.

The decision by Cracker Barrel to pull some products, presumably those with Phil Robertson’s image prominently featured, is a surprise given that most of the chain’s 625 stores are located in prime “Duck Dynasty” demo territory.

The company confirmed the move in a statement posted on its Facebook page. By late afternoon Saturday, the post had drawn more than 2,700 comments, most of them critical of the company’s decision and supportive of Phil Robertson’s right to speak his mind.

“Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture,” the statement read.

“We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores. We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation. We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so.”

Cracker Barrel has faced allegations of racial discrimination from employees and customers in the past. In 2006, the company paid $2 million to settle a workplace discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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  1. Darin Thompson says:

    Well if Phil is the definition of a hero to the right then the left will have no problem in the 2014 and 2016 elections,

  2. White says:

    Judging by much of the commentary surrounding this “controversy”, it would seem that the vast majority of Duck Dynasty fans should spend less time in front of their t.v. and more time learning to construct a coherent sentence.

  3. T.L.L. says:

    His 1st Ammendment rights have not been attacked in any way. He has been allowed to say whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, where ever he wanted. No government agency, no law enforcement, no legal ‘force’ of any kind has been applied. The 1st ammendment protects speech but does not protect reaction to that speech. When you speak inflammatory language, water will be thrown on you. When you speak inflammatory language and water is thrown on you and then you whine and complain, that only identifies you as a pathetic crybaby. When you ‘damage the brand’ you are liable to action. Ask Bill Maher, Don Imus, Phil Donahue, The Dixie Chix and Martin Bashir. These people lost their jobs, their shows and their networks for exercising ‘Free Speech’. The ‘Left’ punishes excesseson on their side, the ‘Right’ does not. Bill O’Reilly invited Al Quaeda to attack San Francisco on two consecutive nights because ‘No one would care”, Glen Beck asserted the President “Hates white people”, Rush and Sean and Man Coulter have all done worse with no complaint from the ‘Right’ which continues to swirl down the drain of soulless, meaningless hatred.

    He hates gays. Comparing any group you are not part of to terrorists and goat-f##kers is hate speech. End of story.

  4. beth jackson says:

    im intrigued by the “poppa duck”. best wishes and ka ching. love the rock me song on GAC. love the Mad Magazine Cover. Ka chiiinnnnggg!
    i wish i had the money to hier you. your friend beth Ka chiiiinnnnng!

  5. Kimberly says:

    I support Phil 100% and I refuse to go to Cracker Barrel! Don’t back down brother; we need more people like you speaking out!!!

  6. Joe Bonner says:

    I think he is entitled to his opinion. Many people would have answered the same way if asked. So what.
    I admire his steadfastness.

  7. Judy Armstrong says:

    If they did not want his opinion they should not have ask. This whole situation is rediculous, duck dynasty has my support

  8. Sarah Marcos says:

    Oh I’m sure he made no comment, and will never make a comment about it. They’re all watching their A & E million-dollar acting job (as that’s all it is – their beards, their costumes and all are not how they actually are or live) disappear and are hoping this goes no further than it already has.

    • I really get up set when I see comments from Ignorant people.

      They were Millionaires long before A&E came along “Girly”

      You know for a fact that they are not who they portray, and you know this because?

      I must say, you have some, BIG hangers to come on and make comments without backing it up with some kind proof.

      Your like the Media, “We can say it because we know more then all of you.

      Stop making stupid comments that you have no knowledge about.

    • Miguel says:

      Sarah. Tell your partner to chill out. Phil said nothing about lesbians.

    • fjsutton says:

      They have nothing disappearing. A&E, on the other hand is watching its cash cow go to other pastures. They do actually live the way they are seen on television and they have faith and convictions that show the Christian family that they are. The Robertson family are multimillionaires who happen to be Christian and they are going to lose nothing. God Bless America where a man of faith will stand up for what the Bible teaches.

  9. ralph erickson and family says:

    I support what phill Robertson and will keep watching show if he returns

  10. Wayne leeser says:

    It is clear as a country we are split. The gay community has fought hard and now maybe Phil has movedsome supporters of basic Bible principles to participate in the debate. I am sure cracker barrel will miss our support but may gain some from the gay community and the Charlie sheen supporters.

    • cam says:

      When yiu use the bible as a reason for taking rights away from people church and state become one. Which is a violation of the constitution. Other people that don’t share your beliefs shouldnt have to live by what your bible says.

  11. michael Knight says:

    The matriarch of duck dynasty is right.If you are a fudge packer how else would you describe sex between 2 males.It is totally gross.poop smells and is an excrement.while the vagina has one purpose as it was meant to be.NOT FUDGE PACKING AN ANUS

    • big daddy D says:

      “How else would you describe sex between 2 males”? Umm..sex? The exact same thing as when a man and woman do it, are you that ignorant/bigoted/stupid? TO EACH THEIR OWN!

  12. jacques strappe says:

    Shame of the gays and blacks for victimizing good conservative Christians, Poor Christians are frequently denied jobs for believing in Jesus and can’t get married in most states. They are frequently the target of violence as adults and bullying as teens all because of their belief in Jesus. And don’t get me started about all the religious profiling going on, targeting Christians. Just the other day I watched a store security guard following a group of Christian bible study members, daring them to shoplift.

    • big daddy D says:

      “Victimizing”?? I’m calling complete AND utter BULLSHIT on your claim “jacques strappe”(please!) Give me ONE example of a Christian being denied a job or not getting married? And how the Flying F@ck did black people get brought into the conversation??? Stop trolling, dude..your hood is showing.

  13. Chris Sheffield says:

    So eats get this straight (no pun intended), the LGBT community insists on tolerance, and what weapon do they choose to enforce it, INTOLERANCE. Shame on Cracker Barrel and anyone else who discriminates against a mainstream Christian view in order to be tolerant of an intolerant group. Cracker Barrel was (past tense) my favorite restaurant, in act I just bought my wife a gift card for there (which I will be demanding my money back on) but I will no longer give them any of my dining dollars. I support someone’s right to support the LGBT community, and I support someone’s right to oppose that lifestyle. What I don’t support is intolerance in the name of tolerance and hypocrites like Cracker Barrel who discriminate against someone on the basis of the person’s views yet gladly pocketing every nickel from that person possible. So long Cracker Barrel, you just lost a hole family of customers!!

    • Julienne says:

      Dem-Libs have always been hypocrites…and intolerance is their middle name. Liars, cheats and criminals. Why do you think that 93% of criminals in Prisons in our country are Dem-Libs.

    • White says:

      What a lucky wife you have? You get her a gift card for Walmart too!?

  14. donnna says:

    What are the orgional rules that our laws original laws, came from? ????????????? Think still can’t figure it out, well I’ll tell you, the 10 rules all I can say is look up And PRAY FORGIVE GOD FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO!!!!

  15. Caroline says:

    Thank you, Variety Staff! This article is the best news report I’ve read on the Duck Dynasty situation. Your word choices are refreshingly descriptive and informative, without being inflammatory themselves. I’ll be reading more Variety.

  16. Lisa Clifton says:

    OMGosh. I can’t believe this. Doesn’t A&E realize that the majority of people who watch Duck Dynasty think exactly the same as the Robertson family? and that’s why the show is so popular? Love the Robertson’s old-fashioned values and I admire them for not being afraid to stand by their beliefs. A&E has lost their minds. They’re just explaining why they believe the way they believe. Didn’t sound like they were judging anyone to me.

    • Comparing homosexuality to beastiality is a tad more than “explaining their beliefs.”

      • fjsutton says:

        For once, I wish someone would actually read something before making a stupid comment about it. Phil Robertson did not compare homosexuality and bestiality. He was asked the question as to “what are sins.” Then he started listing sins. He listed homosexuality, bestiality, terrorism, etc.

  17. Joe says:

    Ignorant bigots? That is some harsh wording. Shame on you for judging a mans beliefs. Who really is the “ignorant bigot”? I think that knife cuts both ways. In case you didn’t pick up on it, I’m calling you an ignorant bigot for not being understanding of this mans beliefs.

  18. Ontor Pertawst says:

    I’m sure they appreciate all the support for their bigotry. As if it was ever in doubt that huge chunks of the population are proud of being ignorant bigots!

  19. Denise Brown says:

    That is not exactly what I call, “mum.” He did make a statement — it just was not a controversial one.

  20. kenmandu says:

    Jeb’s smarter than he looks.

    • They’re all smarter than they look, which is why I think this was a brilliantly staged publicity stunt to break contract. They probably gained more fans and got out of their contract like they wanted and they come out looking like the heroes, LOL. They dissed an entire network in the process and gained an ally in Westboro Baptist (Now everybody’s going to hell except Westboro and Phil). And the hysterical masses who idolize them are none the wiser. Brilliant.

      • Ron says:

        If you don’t believe the bible Lori then what Phil said should not bother you but if you do then you should be troubled for the non believer and the hell that you both will share is the same. It will be filled with people that thought they did good as well as people that said they did good. The Bible clearly states who will inherit the Kingdom of God and I pray that you are on you r way to your true inheritance.

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