duck dynasty divorce

The Decline of ‘Duck Dynasty’: Controversies, Ratings, and Behind-the-Scenes Drama

Problems between Korie and Willie According to reports, Willie and Korie have disagreed about moving to California. 

The Hollywood News Daily reported in June 2017 from an insider that “it looks like big trouble is brewing in their marriage.” Even if Willie was unwilling to relocate, Korie told him that she would like to open a shop, rent an apartment, and spend a lot of her time in Los Angeles. 

Additionally, Korie asserts that Sadie, her 16-year-old daughter, will have an easier time establishing herself as a model in Los Angeles. Willie and Korie are surrounded by family members who are praying for them and attempting to resolve their disagreement.

Duck Dynasty Scandals & Behind-The-Scenes Secrets

Duck Dynasty was a huge hit for A&E. Millions of viewers tuned in each week to watch the shenanigans of the Robertson clan, a bearded, fun-loving family from Louisiana who run a very successful business selling a duck call dubbed the Duck Commander. But after a while, ratings steadily dropped as the cast members’ on- and off-screen antics and scandals soured the show for many fans.

In addition to Phil Robertson’s many controversial comments, the family has also dealt with addiction, abuse, and more. Read on to learn all about the Robertsons’ biggest shockers and scandals.

‘Duck Dynasty’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

The Robertson family gained widespread fame through their highly successful reality series, Duck Dynasty, and their humorous actions continue to leave a lasting impression on a global viewership.

Duck Dynasty provided an intimate portrayal of the lives of these Louisiana locals and their enterprise, Duck Commander, which is a manufacturer and seller of duck hunting products. This popular reality series debuted in March 2012 and concluded in March 2017, spanning 11 successful seasons.

Leading the series was Phil Robertson, the patriarch, accompanied by his wife Kay Robertson, his brother Si Robertson, and his sons Willie Robertson, Jep Robertson, and Jase Robertson. While the show portrayed the dynamic of the entire family, much of the attention was directed towards Willie and his immediate family. This included his wife Korie Robertson, daughter Sadie Robertson, and son John.

Phil Robertson

The COO of Duck Commander was easily recognizable thanks to his long and unruly beard, which he shaved off in September 2017 for his daughter Mia’s charity to help raise awareness for cleft lips and palates. In May 2014, Jase and wife Missy — who also share sons Reed and Cole — opened up to Us about their daughter’s struggle. “It changed my perspective,” he said at the time, recalling Mia’s birth. “I thought, here I am, worried about what she’s going to look like, while the doctors aren’t even sure she can breathe on her own. From that moment on, I stopped being so superficial.” More recently, Jase and Missy visited Israel, and he starred in Unashamed with brother Alan Robertson.

Phil Promotes Child Marriage

It wasn’t long before Phil Robertson got caught up in a scandal. He made headlines after a shocking video from the past surfaced that showed him promoting child marriages. He said that girls should get married when they’re as young as 15. He rationalized this by saying he started dating his wife, Miss Kay, when she was 14.

He said in the clip: “Look, you wait ’til they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They’ll pick your ducks.”

Phil Robertson Called For Jim Crowe Era Treatment Of Blacks

In December 2013, Phil Robertson turned his attention away from his massive homophobia for a moment to reflect on how great black people had it during the Jim Crowe days in America. Robertson claimed, “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once.” Robertson then added that he “hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash.”

He then slammed black people for taking government handouts, adding, “Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.” His comments didn’t sit well with the NAACP and various other race-relation organizations.

Phil Robertson Is Suspended For His Non-Color Bind & Anti-Gay Remarks

Phil Robertson is one of the most controversial cast members on Duck Dynasty. He is frequently in tabloids for questionable remarks he makes about politics. In 2013, Phil did an interview with GQ magazine off-camera in which he made non-color blind and anti-gay comments. He said homosexuality was a sin.

He also claimed that African-Americans were happy in pre-civil-rights-era Louisiana. Obviously, people were outraged by his statements.A&E suspended him from the show but reversed the decision nine days later.

Phil’s Interview Put the Nail in the Coffin for the Show

But all good things must come to an end. By the show’s sixth season premiere, only 4.6 million viewers tuned in. Even though a wedding-themed episode increased viewership in 2015, Duck Dynasty’s ratings plummeted. By season 10, there were only 1.3 million viewers.

But the real reason the show was canceled? Signs point to Phil’s controversial interview with GQ, which couldn’t be overlooked. So after 11 seasons, Duck Dynasty stopped filming and the final episode aired on March 29, 2017.

Phil Apologizes:

One year after making controversial remarks about homosexuals and black people, Phil issued a mea culpa during an interview on Good Morning America. He tried to make things right by comparing himself to Jesus. He explained, “I’m as much of a homophobe as Jesus was. People who are participating in homosexual behavior, they need to know that I love them.”

Then he talked about unifying the human race. He noted: “There’s one race on this planet. It’s called the human race… We’re all the same. To me, there is absolutely nothing that has color to do with it.”

Phil Is An Educated Man

For a guy with such strong business acumen, it’s no surprise that Phil earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in education. He wasn’t just a backwoods redneck — he was pretty smart. And there’s a simple reason why he got into the duck call business: he didn’t like the ones on the market.

Phil wanted a device that sounded exactly like a duck, so he invented his first Duck Commander in 1972. He got a patent and established his company in 1973. His business makes millions of dollars and is headed by his son, Willie Robertson.

Phil Came From Humble Beginnings

The Robertsons weren’t always wealthy. Before Phil founded the company and became rich, he lived in poverty. He was born in Louisiana in 1946 and had six brothers and sisters. They lived in a home without any electricity, and they didn’t have a bathtub or even a toilet. In order to survive, the family grew their own fruit and vegetables in their garden.

They ate the meat that they hunted and raised on their property. Despite their financial struggles, it was a good childhood. Phil recalled: “It was the 1950s when I was a young boy, but we lived like it was the 1850s … but we were always happy, happy, happy no matter the circumstances.”

The Robertsons weren’t always wealthy. Before Phil founded the company and became rich, he lived in poverty. He was born in Louisiana in 1946 and had six brothers and sisters. They lived in a home without any electricity, and they didn’t have a bathtub or even a toilet. In order to survive, the family grew their own fruit and vegetables in their 

They ate the meat that they hunted and raised on their property. Despite their financial struggles, it was a good childhood. Phil recalled: “It was the 1950s when I was a young boy, but we lived like it was the 1850s … but we were always happy, happy, happy no matter the circumstances.”garden.

Willie Jess Robertson

The CEO of his family’s company reopened his diner, Willie’s Duck Diner, in West Monroe, Louisiana, in September 2017. Loyal fans of the show will remember that Willie was unapologetic about his religious views, and this eatery is no different. The restaurant proudly boasts passages from the Bible and is described as a place “where saying grace is encouraged.” The father of six — who shares John Luke, Sadie, Will, Bella, Rowdy and Rebecca with wife Korie — also announced in July 2018 that Duck Commander would be hosting tours on Sundays. Willie starred in Buck Commander on the Outdoor Channel until September 2019. In 2021, Willie appeared in season 6 of The Masked Singer as the Mallard. 

Korie Robertson

The mother of five released a parenting book called Strong and Kind: Raising Kids of Character in June 2017. She also writes The Essentials Blog on daughter Sadie’s website.

Trouble Between Willie & Korie

Willie and Korie have reportedly butted heads about relocating to California. An insider told The Hollywood News Daily in June 2017, “It looks like big trouble is brewing in their marriage. Korie told Willie that even if he is not willing to move, she would like to open a shop in Los Angeles, get an apartment and spend a lot of her time there.”

Korie also claims that her 16-year-old daughter Sadie will find it easier to expand her budding modeling career in Los Angeles. Family members are gathering around Willie and Korie, praying with them and trying to get their dispute settled.

Kay Robertson

Miss Kay continues to run an eatery in West Monroe, where she offers her famous pies alongside other treats, including gelato and lunch.

Missy Robertson

The blogger has stayed busy with her own jewelry line since Duck Dynasty ended. She also wrote a series of Princess in Camo books with daughter Mia. She and Jase run a bed and breakfast and event venue called Logtown Plantation in Louisiana.

Sadie Robertson

Sadie, who grew up in front of viewers’ eyes, is no longer a kid — she’s a bestselling author, Dancing With the Stars alum and speaker for Live Original. She also founded One Squad, amillennial-driven organization that helps inspire young people to come together to make an impact, and hosts the “WHOA That’s Good” podcast.

She married Christian Huff in November 2019. The duo welcomed daughter Honey in May 2021. In November 2022, the couple revealed that they were expecting their second child. Daughter Haven was born in May 2023.

ilas Merritt ‘Si’ Robertson

Uncle Si was long considered the breakout star of Duck Dynasty — and he also made appearances on other shows, including Last Man Standing and Buck Commander. Si’s personality earned him his own short-lived spinoff called Going Si-Ral, where he watched viral videos and shared his commentary. Si joined daughters-in-law Marsha Robertson and Bridgette Tatum in their band, Uncle Si & The Sicotics. He also regularly appeared on Fox and Friends until 2019.

Jules Jepths ‘Jep’ Robertson

Jep’s loyal following earned him a spinoff called Jep & Jessica: Growing the Dynasty, which followed the TV personality and his wife, Jessica, raising their children, Lily, Merrit, Priscilla, River and Jules. The series, which ran from 2016 to 2017, also showed the couple — married since 2001 — describing their struggles with their pot-pie-themed food truck. In January 2018, the Robertsons opened a new food truck called Jep’s Southern Roots at Supernatural star Jensen Ackles’ Family Business Beer Company in Dripping Springs, Texas. The family later moved to Austin and launched a YouTube channel to support their business.

John Luke Robertson

After writing a book called Young and Beardless: The Search for God, Purpose and a Meaningful Life in 2016, Willie and Korie’s oldest son documented his travels with wife Mary Kate McEacharn — whom he wed in 2015 — on Instagram and became the director of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca. The couple welcomed son John in October 2019. A daughter named Ella followed in April 2021. 

Millions Tuned In From The Beginning

The reality show Duck Dynasty aired on A&E from 2012 to 2017. The program focused on the Robertson family, who make a living in Louisiana from their business, Duck Commander. Brothers Phil and Si, along with Phil’s sons Jase, Willie, and Jep, make products for duck hunters, especially the duck call known as the Duck Commander. The family is renowned for their long beards and Christian values.

The series was massively popular with fans. Nearly 12 million viewers tuned in to the fourth season premiere, making it the most-watched nonfiction program in cable history.

President Obama Was A Fan Of The Show

In 2015, Willie and Korie attended the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. A man approached them and said he was with the White House, and they needed to go with him for a few minutes. They wound up having a meeting with President Obama.

Willie said of their meeting: “He said he loves the show and watches it on Air Force One.” Korie added, “I know the Obamas are very particular about what they let their girls watch on TV so if our show is one they find acceptable, that’s really great!” So even if Willie is a Republican, he appreciated that Obama was a fan.

A Goldmine

Prior to launching the reality show, the Robertsons made an enormous amount of money through their company, Duck Commander. In 2012, they reported $40 million in revenue. You can imagine the hefty paychecks the Robertsons brought home each month. Then they were hired by A&E to appear in a reality show and got paid to star on it. Advertisers spent $180,000 to land a 30-second commercial spot on the series.

With so much cash flowing, it would seem that the family had nothing to lose and everything to gain. However, not everything was perfect behind the scenes.

A&E Replaced The Stars With Stand-Ins

The show was stuffed with scandals that surprised many fans. Everyone knows that reality shows are occasionally scripted and don’t always reveal the truth, but many people believed that Duck Dynasty was the exception. The Robertsons always appeared very genuine. However, in 2014, the gossip site Radar Online uncovered a casting email from 2012.

The email stated that it was looking for four men with long beards to stand in for the actors from the show. Those who were interested were invited to send their statistics (i.e., height, weight and hair color) to be considered for the role.


  1. Disagreement Over Moving: Willie and Korie reportedly disagreed about moving to California. Korie expressed interest in opening a shop, renting an apartment, and spending more time in Los Angeles. She believed this move would benefit their daughter Sadie’s modeling career.
  2. Marital Troubles: Reports suggested that their disagreement over the move led to significant trouble in their marriage, with family members attempting to mediate.
  3. Show’s Decline: “Duck Dynasty” experienced a decline in ratings over its seasons, partly due to controversies surrounding the cast.
  4. Phil Robertson’s Controversies: Phil Robertson, the patriarch, faced backlash for his comments on topics like homosexuality and race relations, leading to his suspension from the show.
  5. Show’s End: The show ultimately ended after 11 seasons, with Phil’s controversial interview considered a significant factor in its cancellation.


Willie and Korie Robertson’s marriage faced challenges due to disagreements over relocating to California. The couple’s troubles were compounded by the declining ratings of their reality show, “Duck Dynasty,” which was marred by controversies, particularly surrounding Phil Robertson’s controversial comments. Despite the challenges, the Robertson family remained in the public eye, with individual members pursuing various projects and ventures.


What Caused the Marital Troubles Between Willie and Korie Robertson?

The couple disagreed about moving to California, with Korie expressing a desire to open a shop and spend more time there, particularly to support their daughter Sadie’s modeling.

he Decline of “Duck Dynasty”?

The show’s ratings declined over its seasons, partly due to controversies surrounding the cast, especially Phil Robertson’s controversial remarks on homosexuality and race relations.

What Controversies Did Phil Robertson Face?

Phil faced backlash for his comments promoting child marriages and his remarks on African Americans during the Jim Crow era, among others.

Why Was “Duck Dynasty” Canceled?

The show was canceled after 11 seasons, with Phil’s controversial interview considered a significant factor in the decision.

What Are the Robertson Family Members Doing Now?

The family members have pursued various projects and ventures post-“Duck Dynasty,” including businesses, books, and appearances on other shows

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