While there has been a widespread media backlash over anti-gay remarks made by "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson, it doesn’t look like demand for the hit A&E show’s merchandise is waning.
"Most people who are buying the brand, they are like-minded to Phil anyway," Hans Wilz of Great Ideas LLC, told USA Today.
Wilz’s company helped create Duck Dynasty-scented candles that are sold across the country. "That demographic is not offended by what he said."
Cracker Barrel initially pulled the show’s products from shelves only to return them days later following a barrage of emails, tweets and phone calls from Duck Dynasty fans threatening to boycott the 625-store chain. Upon resuming sales, Cracker Barrel issued
the following statement, Forbes reports.
“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.
"You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.
"Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
And, we apologize for offending you.
"We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.”
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has not commented on its future with the show, even as T-shirts bearing Robertson’s image, bobbleheads of the family and scads of other merchandise soar in sales.
Forbes reports that Duck Dynasty merchandise, which includes a Catnapper camouflage recliner for $899.95 and a 400-page book of devotional prose that goes for $16.99, will bring in some $400 million in 2013.
This despite Robertson’s inflammatory comments to GQ magazine that lumped homosexuality in as a sin tantamount to bestiality. The network suspended him but fans have voiced their support in droves, taking to Twitter to defend the show’s lead character.
“You can tell that they are Christians and they live it out. praise God,” tweeted one fan from Elverson, Pa.
Robertson, members of his West Monroe, La. family, and fans across the country are not backing down from his remarks.
“I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater. … I have been immoral, drunk, high,” Robertson said. “I ran with the wicked people for 28 years and I have run with the Jesus people since and the contrast is astounding.”
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