Louisiana knows a good deal when it sees it.
Recognizing the “Duck Dynasty” phenomenon’s boon for the Bayou State’s tourism business, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has written an open letter to the Dynasty family Robertson offering to use his considerable heft to “seek out alternative production options” if the A&E cable channel cancels the show.
Dardenne’s statement didn’t offer any direct financial incentives to the family, but did make clear that the state government is willing to make sure adequate partnerships are found to keep it going in in the Robertson’s home base of Monroe Parrish.
“If the Robertson family cannot come to an agreement with A&E and wants to continue the show, Louisiana already has the infrastructure in place to maintain their record-breaking program,” Dardenne wrote in a statement.
“Duck Dynasty” is the highest-rated show on cable television. For those who just got out of a coma, the show is currently on hiatus, with its patriarchm Phil Robertson, on indefinite suspension over comments he made in a GQ magazine article condemning homosexuality in biblical terms.
Dardenne, whose job responsibilities include promoting tourism, doesn’t want to see the state the kind of free advertising and related jobs that “Duck Dynasty” provides to the state’s tourism industry — its largest economic driver.
Dardenne’s statement went to great pains not to be seen as an endorsement of Robertson’s views about homosexuality – and anyone who’s ever visited New Orleans can testify that bayou Bible fundamentalism is hardly all-pervasive in Louisiana.
But when it comes to the dollars and cents of the “Duck Dynasty” presence, Dardenne and his Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, are all business.
“Regardless of one’s views on Phil Robertson’s statements, ‘Duck Dynasty’ has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut,” Dardenne’s statement said.
In Monday’s Washington Post, Dardenne made his position even clearer.
“I’m sure a lot of people found the comments offensive. There’s no question about that,” Dardenne told the paper. “The point is he has an opinion and has a set of beliefs and is entitled to those without jeopardizing what has become an extremely popular show across America.”
And an extremely important cash-cow for Louisiana’s budget.
As they say in the Big Easy, laissez le bon temps rouler.
And let the money keep rolling in.
Watch the AP video below:
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