Duck Dynasty features a number of things that run against the grain of popular culture. They’re a strong family that runs their own business, which is based on their patriarch’s invention. They go to church. They don’t engage in microwave marriages to pop stars. Their daughters aren’t famous for sex tapes or appearances in men’s magazines. They hunt. With guns.
They also pray, and according to two of the show’s stars, Phil and Willie Robertson, the prayers caused some problems with the producers.
When the producers of Duck Dynasty asked the stars to stop saying “in Jesus’ name” during prayers because it might offend Muslims, Phil Robertson stood his ground and gave an eye-opening response.
“So they would just have me saying, ‘Thank you Lord for the food, thank you for loving us. Amen.’ So I said, ‘Why would you cut out ‘In Jesus’ name?’ They said, ‘Well those editors are probably doing that. They just think that they don’t want to offend some of the Muslims or something.’”
Robertson says he had a conversation with the producers, and the objections to Jesus’ name stopped.
“I said, let’s see now…” Robertson went on, “I said, ‘what year is it?’” And the editor finally answered, “2012″ (the time the conversation took place, apparently).
Robertson then said, “2012 A.D. Anno Domini. The year of our Lord. I said, ‘you Hollywood cats are counting time from Jesus, just like I am. I would think that of all the people who walked the planet Earth, if we’ve all decided in America here to count time by just one of ‘em, Jesus of Galilee, I just don’t think it would hurt to throw his name in there from time to time.”
Phil may come off as Hayseed Treebeard, but he holds a Masters Degree in education. Don’t mess with the duckman.
I suspect that the aversion to Jesus’ name was less about Muslims, than about the media’s cultural aversion to all things explicitly Christian.
The producers also inserted bleeps to make it sound like the family was using profanity. Willie says the Robertsons don’t habitually use profanity, so the bleeps were unnecessary.
“If we’re not using profanity, why make it look like we’re using profanity? What is the point? Why don’t you just run it and say what we say?”
Good question. Duck Dynasty hauls in nearly 12 million viewers a week. I’m one, and I appreciate the fact that the Robertsons are the only “reality show” family that isn’t being bleeped every other word. It’s almost shocking to see a TV family or personality who can finish a sentence without resorting to profanity. You can’t say the same even for shows like SyFy’s FaceOff, a great competition show about make-up and special effects creators. Even American Pickers features its share of bleeps, and that’s just two dudes who go antiquing for a living.