'Duck Dynasty': Is It Over for Popular Reality Show?

Phil Robertson's offensive comments have brought an onslaught of support and backlash.
3:00 | 12/21/13

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Transcript for 'Duck Dynasty': Is It Over for Popular Reality Show?
Duck dynasty is the most watched cable reality show of all time. But could the end be near after the redneck family patriarch speaks his mind. He was suspended by a & e for his comments in "gq" magazine seen as anti-gay and racist. Now, phil robertson supporters are fighting back saying he has a right to express his beliefs. And there is new controversy tonight. This time, on videotape. Here is abc's matt gutman. Reporter: They have been the goose that laid the a & e golden egg, the american family millions watch. Are you sure you know what you are doing? Now that is how you carve a pumpkin. Reporter: Tonight they're at the white hot center of a scorching national argument that threatens to bring down "duck dynasty" dousing new fuel on the fire, this video of the patriarch phil robertson apparently railing against gays in his speech from 2010. Boy is there some immorality going on around here, gross sexual immorality. A fire and brimstone sermon delivered a year before robertson's family of duck hunters, resided over the most watched unscripted cable show. Women with women, men with men, they have committed indecent acts with one another. Reporter: This is just the latest twist in a controversy crammed week that began with the reality king robertson telling gq magazine. Start with homosex wu ssexual behavior, sleeping around with this woman, that woman. He didn't stop there, adding race to the mix. Robertson said the african-americans he knew in the jim crow south were happy. I never with my eyes saw the mistreatment of any black person, pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say were they happy? They were godly. They were happy. No one was singing the blues. It may come as little surprise that a self proclaimed religious redneck like may have strong opinions. Reaction has been fiery. The naacp and gay rights organization calling robertson's remarks dangerous and revisionist. When I hear some one compare my relationship of ten years to bestiality, they're essentially skaulg calling my partner a dog, they're saying you are less than human. A & e which airs duck dynasty, suspended robertson, only fueled the tsunami of support for the bearded patriarch. Supporters refusing to duck and cover. A facebook page has more than 1.5 million likes. Online millions are putting their names on various petitions. We counted at least 13 separate petitions supporting robertson on change.Org alone. And politicians have also come to robertson's defense. Sarah palin seen here with duck dynasty cast accused liberals of applying the first amendment selectively. The governor of robertson's home state making his own pro-duck call. The left is tired of every viewpoint except for those that disagree. The robertson family is the latest in a long line of people, individuals, families, bull young peopled by the, the cultural allegiance. The in west monroe, louisiana, duck dynasty is no ordinary fare. Seen everywhere from country music awrards to the white house correspondents dinner. It made the robertson's bearded mugs worth $100 million in merchandising alone. It is a & e's biggest hit, and most watched reality show of all time, and spawned this whole multimillion dollar retail empire. We at forbes estimate this year, $400 million of duck dynasty merchandise will be sold, $200 million from wal-mart. Something they talked to barbara walters about this week. One of the reasons people love you, you are done to earth, not materialistic, but now you have all this money. What I said when we started this out, itch f it is changes us, the family in a bad way, I hope we lose it all. Look, we are not stupid. Now we have been poor. We have been rich. Rich its better. Reporter: The show is about family. You need to be redneckified. I hang out with them for a day and they preached the gospel of all things they kid good, guns, fried frog legs, family and god. Amen. Reporter: In fact, it is a shrine to many fans. Say cheese. Reporter: The family never hidden its religious views. They pray at the end of every show. And robertson is openly evangelical christian, never made a secret of his belief that homosexuality is a sin. Naked as jay bird. Supporters say robertson has the right to speak out and should be allowed to be overtly religious on tv. There are those underlying val use that people identify. They like to see families getting along. Sitting around a table. Talking together. Interacting. What used to be common place in this country years again. I think people obviously they're supporting that by what they're watching. For many he has simply gone too far. The issue at hand here its lgbt rights and the role of religion in our culture. That's the debate. Not whether a & e fired somebody or not. Get back to the real issues at hand. And, and, not some nonsense about how a company is infringing on the first amendment. And, the gq article first appeared and cascade of recrimination, ricochetted. Onecasualty, the duck dynasty show. Last night the family appeared to threaten to walk away. As a family we cannot imagine the show going forward with our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with a & e to see what that means for the future of duck dynasty. Thank you for your continued support of our family. So could this really be the end of the dynasty? I this is a huge pr mistake on a & e's behalf. This whole time they must have known what nay had on their hands. Not the first time phil robertson has made remarks. Tonight, no further comment from a & e or the robertson family. The rep told us, if they've speak nay will speak as a family. For "nightline," matt gutman, abc news, miami.

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