I don’t have a big point to make about this other than “ha ha,” but I do have a small point to make. I think the mistake A&E and, in fact, the Robertsons have made here is to believe that there is but one type of conservative Christianity and it aligns with the one practiced by the Robertsons. See, the thing is that, as popular as the prosperity gospel is, it is, among folks who look demographically identical, also as unpopular. It’s a deep split in Christianity–can a rich person be a good Christian? Or, if you were a good Christian, would you have been giving so much away along the way that you would, in fact, not be able to be rich?
As a conservative Christian asked me, “Why should I listen to a rich guy’s opinion about what God thinks of homosexuals, since he’s not listening to Jesus about money?” And this is someone I think agrees with Phil Robertson about gay people.
So, it’s weird. It’s like the old “Preach, preach, now you’re just meddling” joke got short-circuited and people who should have been primed to shout “preach” at the first “gay people are wrong” remark all instead were like “who’s this hypocrite to speak for us?”
I mean, I think people like me turned away. But we weren’t that big a part of the demographic who watched the show. What should frighten people who think they’re marketing to conservative Christians is that that’s the market Duck Dynasty is losing. That indicates they don’t know that demographic as well as they think they do.
As an exercise, I watched an episode the other day (I haven’t watched any since the end of the second season.). It was the episode where the family decided to throw Phil and Kay a “real wedding” for their anniversary because they didn’t have a religious ceremony when they got married, and it was super uncomfortable to watch.
I still haven’t seen a single minute of the show. So I don’t know what to say about it other than the fact that I know people who hired show people for their Religious Event and the price to have a lesser family member (not the honcho but one of the underlings) come speak to your Religious Event about their Love Of Jesus was $100,000 BASE. (More for Q&A, more for photo ops, etc.) I don’t think word of that needs to leak out to too many places before even the most ardent fan is deeply displeased.
Holy shit! $100,000 to start with?! This also makes me think that part of the problem is that Christians would like to see Christians like them in popular culture–so a family of duck call makers who like to hunt and pick on each other and have silly adventures but all come together for meals and to pray is appealing. And “Hollywood” (for lack of a better term) would love to give Christians what they want, because they’d love to be able to sell to advertisers that targeted demographic.
But Hollywood only knows how to make people stars in certain ways (and it’s ways that, let’s be fair, Christians–even ministers–can be easily seduced by). Come to the awards show. Go to the State of the Union. Get paid $100,000 to just show up somewhere and more for pictures.
And the ways Hollywood knows how to make stars aren’t really compatible with how most Christians think Christians should behave (I mean, you can even see that on a smaller scale here in Nashville. Maury Davis has a huge church, but not every Christian in town goes there. In fact, the majority of them don’t.). So, there’s always going to be some kind of disenchantment with selling people as Christians while making them rich(er) in a Hollywood way.
Jagosaurus, I saw that start of that one and I think that was the first episode where the obvious fakery of it was off-putting.
I am truly stunned at the $100,000 figure but I feel like I probably shouldn’t be. That sounds like something they would do.
This is also something I find interesting. I’ve read comments from people who claim to know people who know the family in real life and there’s all this “Well, it’s Willie who’s the real problem. The rest of the family is still down to earth.” And I have to say that this both strikes me as probably somewhat true AND probably how the dynamic of the family works. You don’t normally see a middle child running the family business, but that aside, poor Willie is the typical middle child, isn’t he? His behavior is the problem, when really, his “problematic” behavior makes room for everyone else to be just as big assholes, but get to hide behind the idea that they’re not as bad as him.