The End of Duck Dynasty?

Reality TV star's controversial comments about gays and African-Americans creates firestorm.
3:00 | 12/19/13

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Transcript for The End of Duck Dynasty?
And -- -- -- New York where this ABC news digital special report high profile conservatives like Sarah Palin and senator Ted crews are rushing to the defense of -- dynasty star. Phil Robertson. Who was suspended by a -- after a series of anti gay remarks to GQ magazine. With the latest on the backlash to the backlash itself. We're joined now from Los Angeles by ABC's brandy hit Randy. -- and it's what a lot of people are talking about today the backlash the comments the controversy the debate. Roughly ten million people actually watch -- Agassi every week this is a huge hit. For the day any network and we're starting to see the power of one Starr's comments they sparked another debate in this country over sexuality. And race. -- Robertson the family patriarch of -- dynasty has been suspended indefinitely from the hit AND reality show. Following controversial remarks he made in the January issue of GQ magazine. He compared homosexuality. To -- Audi saying it's not logical my man it's just not logical. Adding whether their homosexuals. Drunks terrorists. We let god sort them out later you see what I'm saying. He was basing his comments. All some biblical verse and you know these are views that a lot of people whole. In a statement after his suspension Robertson said. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ however I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. And many of the -- ten million fans are standing behind him launching this FaceBook page to boycott anti until Robertson returns to the show. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal even weighed in saying this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. But he also has the right to the consequences. Of those views and I think it's gonna come down like a hammer another example some will Paula -- -- not getting it. In the article Robertson also says he never saw African Americans -- treated before the civil rights movement -- entitlements pre welfare you say were they happy. They were godly they were happy no one was singing the blues -- sponsors don't like what's being said. They're gonna cut the Sheldon caught him in a a lot of things. -- civil rights groups like glad and the NAACP authorities spoken out against Robertson's comments but it's not known yet if this controversy. Will affect the show's rating stands. Well let me ask you about that -- visited -- about Robertson suspension do we know how long that will be will he be on the next season. We're told that it's. Indefinite and you saw part of the apology that he issued -- jury you know everything kind of blew up with those comments in GQ magazine. And some people are saying a lot more needs to be done especially when he talk to PR experts you have. Groups like glad already asking and calling on sponsors to reexamine if -- whether they should be even advertising with Andy and it wasn't really an apology. That Robertson issued I know after everything happening he was suspended eighties and it was very disappointed by the comments and they haven't really said. Much outside of that just yet I think everyone's -- waiting to see what happens next if Robert to comes out and says something publicly. Or if he just stays away and it kind of stays on the you know out of the spotlight for a little while and whether other groups stepped forward and keep this going. So there have been some high profile name Sarah Palin Ted Cruz and it also be FaceBook campaign which you had mentioned as well. Is there any kind of a larger more coordinated effort that sort of bringing all those energies together against -- Definitely you're seeing especially on FaceBook this -- spaced pages only been -- for -- and I went hitless in 24 hours and already has more than 660000. Likes and a lot of people are sending off. And trying to spread the world -- that way they want everyone to boycott the entire network. And -- C Robertson back on the show you saw governor Jindal statement Sarah Palin as you mentioned come out. And it's interesting in reading the full statement from the governor's office in Louisiana. He even said something like Miley Cyrus will get a laugh when she does something controversial but Phil Robertson. Get suspended and when you heard from our PR expert in inner peace he said well there's a difference though what you're doing something -- you know that you're seeing in the public light that that you know there is a freedom of speech right in this country obviously. But when you're on national television and more people are looking at this in your responsible to a network and -- responsible to people who are advertising on that station. It's a different thing Dan. Aren't there obviously growing intensity of conversation right there ABC's brandy hit brandy thank you for that I want to bring in. And now I expert brand strategist Peter Shactman via Skype a Peter we're gonna talk -- -- conservative backlash is the moment but first. A what -- get your thoughts on a -- response to this as far as the timeliness and the action that they took. It's far suspending Robertson altogether. Well you notice how quickly. And the reason for that is thanks apology. You know networks are no longer to sit there and see what plays out at that hurt them last time when when -- blogging thing happens a big jump. -- -- a manager at a little too quickly. You know it is certainly not a person ammunition as the governor -- united has another view but first minute he's free to say what he wants but any deal with the consequences of his actions that's. That's nothing new capital -- -- the bigger question -- is you know. It's a reality shows as someone. In a reality show saying what he thinks people arguing that back is representative of who this -- -- of people watching. The problem is that the people who are advertisers who have -- meaning they -- poll conduct that is -- -- -- and on want to bet that he did a -- from -- as a whole did anything that you know what we have other programming inane. And our audience. Much much different. In the audience what does that then and there -- ended that would ripple. That's -- -- is worried about will happen to such a great extent we don't know -- they are less than four weeks until the the season opener to -- which is. -- extends -- -- birds as their cash cow for the past year. Networks and certainly spent a lot of time putting together programming and shows to try to identify themselves and stand -- obviously from other networks and adding it's a great point that you bring up the fact that it is not just the advertising specifically for -- dynasty. But the larger picture of things so obviously there have been some very proud -- her high profile responses to this Sarah Palin -- -- the first to weigh in writing on FaceBook. Free speech is endangered species -- in tolerance. Hayden and taking on the -- dynasty patron for -- his personal opinions are taking on all of us senator Ted Cruz. Joining the court saying that if you quote. Believe in free speech or religious liberty you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson. -- expressed his personal views and his own religious faith for that he was suspended from his job. And then as we just hurt in that earlier report Louisiana's governor Bobby Jindal a Rhodes scholar in this press release saying such. Robertson and his family are great citizens of the state of Louisiana. Jindal went on to say in a statement -- politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints except those -- disagree with. I don't agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews. Or CN TV. In fact come to think of it I find it a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledged that this is a free country and everywhere is entitled to express their views in fact I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation Miley Cyrus gets a laugh and Phil Robertson gets suspended. Peter in response to that NIC responses you've got it right there who who who who what does -- what -- the audience that that that those voices are appealing to. At first line and look they're appealing to -- announcing their plans -- come and I'm going to be argument -- Is the lowest common and he shot about free speech in each other how big and quarter with -- brief speech. And you get people -- It has never been about three isn't it about someone say that said you can't go -- -- -- and say -- you're gonna say at all. As shown the fact he went on -- what they and shore. In this man's contract trust me Amy does not as -- you -- -- and they do whatever you want this man had I guarantee you it's WI agent not more. Contract and one of these -- contracts that. Hey FYI there is standard clause. There's a closet you probably can't change appeared and yes there's a lot that you probably can't. Talk about. Very specific subjects it's -- -- tomorrow whether you believe they're not the bigger question me. Why wasn't someone at any -- -- -- guy sitting in the room with him when he does an interview with someone with a report from GQ. RGQ is that a pretty you know hardcore reported -- been around they know what -- to provoking answers why hasn't someone training this man personally by the way. You might try to get the -- -- you up with questions about homosexuality about racism. -- -- -- -- -- You know -- we even having this devastation that you just -- you know I have my own views but I don't think they're part of -- shelled and moved. Alienated the story I'm kind of surprised they -- especially after -- -- over the past year. That they didn't have at least two handlers in the room with him sort of stepped in front and and and dot -- and can't take that bullet or that it would -- Well let me I wanted to ask you about that's because obviously building a strategy building any kind of a brand takes a lot of effort it takes a lot of coordination on that. But when you're dealing with reality celebrities and you're dealing with the fact that what makes that -- with -- is so popular that it might be out of the mainstream it might be. A voice it might be an opinion that isn't necessarily popularly held which is what makes it engaging. From an audience standpoint. Doesn't pay any -- automatically accept those kinds of terms as if it's -- -- be popular it might you -- it's gonna gain popularity it might be because of something that isn't necessarily a popular thing to Saturday. When it comes down to it in the days that reality shows are scripted to -- -- if they're react but he went and opened -- very scripted. And it's one thing to say it on the show on the show -- there's not 12 of any reality show that is not entirely edited. Real housewives. Maybe he debacle a couple years ago. When one and you know again nothing we ever say is ever -- the way we -- at all and it. So when your when your when your producer of that show you're not worried because you have controlled the final product that airs on your network when someone goes -- reflect a better word. And sit down with a journalist's journalist -- every -- Yeah that does hurt your rent and I am sure I was gonna confidence and -- -- her programme so that's definitely. Way. I gotta tell you I understand -- -- jump quickly to -- but. They probably should sat down -- you know what the week but a lot of money to promoting this next season it starts in less than four weeks we got at subway -- up we got outdoor -- we got online -- They might have taken a separate I'm not agree or disagree with what -- said that -- -- about -- marketing -- respected. Would have blown over they just ignored it. Possibly he might jump a little too high you know they did what they didn't and they might have gotten from back channel budget advertisers call -- -- off the record we'll probably about you don't do something. So if that's the case they had to do it -- a deal. But now the left between -- no exit strategy if they bring him back. In -- week. If they let -- shows probably so big it Carla and so is going to. Let me ask you this then because the thought the argument has been brought -- -- -- as it being a First Amendment issue is that gonna stick. Not not with that he was not denied his right they what you want. But again someone should have been coaching thing if you say this this might happen. You know it's applicable what you do is is going to be a result of what you can eat what he did resulted in this happening -- -- couldn't it but. I'm sure -- -- -- sure -- -- contract say if you engage in stuff that might be considered dangerous. It's right now. What about the thoughts you've got 666000. People try to boycott essentially try to start a boycott of a network and how successful. It is that kind of a campaign going to be when you have a Sarah Palin when you have FaceBook support that's being put on the other side of the issue. It was at least point two we will have very short attention spans exceptionally short attention span -- country. I'm always put the Arab Spring when the Arab uprising happened on Twitter and it would it was just starting out it was like wow look at this we're seeing this -- And the Michael Jackson -- And then everyone dealing with the -- it was like -- -- so we have very short attention span when it comes to especially pop culture news like this. An appealing again after it was never happened is that it makes some sort of statement again not an apology because he is not apologize -- his views. But something's gonna happen in terms -- a statement. And then eighties an -- at that -- Mitchell ready to act on the air at the end of the day you know become hundred dollars like everything -- eighty knows that there's a lot of money here and -- -- -- placate the -- They don't want to lose that should. They don't lose the teacher recognition and I think it and up hr -- -- -- so I I. I had to act right now activists -- -- You think it's gonna come back even bigger and better and stronger in the -- reason why ask this because you're talking at the point that we have short attention spans the same time there's also a good deal of us. That are fascinated by the whole rubber necking phenomenon we see an accident and we in instinctively want to stop and -- -- there. Where we might never -- interest in before. If it's true it's like. It's what cops aired for five hours every night in prime time you know we we like to look at that a lot of lot of people like look at -- well. How -- but that's not you know I think it I don't advocate -- to make a bigger splash because let's face it. One controversy like it is not gonna take people who. Didn't want to watch. Duck hunters start watching doctors I don't absolutely -- bigger -- I think the first episode would be episode where today. -- Sundance will be huge but I don't really -- -- rating boosts overall. We shall wait and see how -- dynasty we'll be fair to all this Peter -- thank you so much for your time here is that we certainly appreciate that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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