“Duck Dynasty’s” Robertson family believe A&E left them ‘’hung out to dry” and that the network orchestrated the scandal sparked by Phil Robertson’s notorious GQ interview.
A source close to the family told the Daily Mail Saturday that A&E wanted to “bring them back into line” after the network thought the Robertsons’ went too far promoting their religious beliefs on the show.
“You have to ask yourself why this interview happened and why it ever became public,” the family friend told the Daily Mail. “Someone from A&E was there and was aware of the kind of answers Phil was giving. But despite that, they didn’t ever try to stop it or control it. Instead, they let it hit the headlines and then released a statement condemning it.”
The source told Daily Mail that A&E knew what would happen after the interview went public, but let it happen to control the family patriarch.
“It is our understanding that when the TV executives came up with the concept for the show, they wanted it to be a case of people laughing at a bunch of backward rednecks,” the source said. “But when it didn’t turn out like that, and people actually started identifying with the way the family behaved and were laughing with them, not at them, they became uncomfortable. It did not sit well with the New York TV types.”
A&E held a call with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation prior to its decision to suspend Robertson, Breitbart Big Hollywood reported.
The family said that A&E thought the bad publicity would allow the network to make the family tone down the religious themes on the show, according to the Daily Mail.
“But they may have underestimated how united the family are and how committed they are to their beliefs,” the source told the British newspaper. “They also didn’t realize how much support Phil would get from the public, so things have backfired on them.”
Other sources say A&E will keep Phil Robertson on the show after the controversy dies down, but it remains to be seen what the family will decide, based on the statement released last week.
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