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The Real Reasons Why Duck Dynasty Ended & What They’re Up To Now

The Real Reasons Why Duck Dynasty Ended & What They’re Up To Now

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In 2012, the Robertson family and their duck call business skyrocketed to fame with Duck Dynasty. The show follows the eccentric owners of Duck Commander, delighting fans with its focus on family drama and crazy duck-hunting adventures.

Led by the bearded patriarch Phil Robertson, who founded the business in a backwater Louisiana shed, the clan won over audiences with their camaraderie, humor, and unfiltered family dynamics.

Fans tuned in weekly to watch Uncle Si’s oddball antics, Jase and Willie’s brotherly hijinks, the women holding down the fort, and the whole family dishing out folksy wisdom and delivering good-natured teasing at the dinner table.

For eleven seasons, it seemed like the sky was the limit for Duck Dynasty – until it wasn’t. As fast as it rose to the top, Duck Dynasty sunk to the bottom. A series of controversies marred the show’s popularity, leading to its eventual cancellation in 2017.

Now, seven years after the series finale, some fans still want more of the Robertsons. Where has the legendary duck-hunting clan gone off to after the show ended? All that and more as we explore one of the most controversial reality shows of the past decade!

Phil Robertson’s Views Jeopardized the Show

Duck Dynasty‘s star, Phil Robertson, landed A&E in hot water due to his staunch conservative politics. While every fan of the show knew of the Robertsons’ right-wing mentality, Phil’s explosive interviews caused quite a stir as far back as 2013.

In the show’s early seasons, CNN ran a story focusing on the divisive nature of Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuality. In the segment, actor Wilson Cruz can be seen asking A&E to condemn Phil’s statements.

Phil Robertson on Duck Dynasty

That same year, Phil had an interview with the GQ Magazine. There, he made observations on the Civil Rights movements that some might view as racially insensitive. According to Phil, before the movement he “Never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person.

Still, as damning as those statements might have been for Phil’s public image, Duck Dynasty was on the air four years later. So, what happened that ultimately brought the show to a sudden end?

Declining Viewership Ended Duck Dynasty’s Run

Despite the controversies, Duck Dynasty ultimately ended because it was no longer profitable for A&E to keep working on the show. While the Robertsons were far from being mainstream celebrities, each season still demanded a pay rise for the show’s talent, increasing the costs considerably by the time Season 11 came along.

Add to that Phil Robertson’s departure as a series regular at the end of Season 4, and you get a show that never managed to recapture the spark it once had. Many fans tuned in to see the Robertsons’ unique family dynamic – taking the patriarch out of the equation was a recipe for disaster.

According to Vulture’s Josef Adalian, the show has been in decline since 2014. “Duck has passed the point of being a weekly Nielsen phenomenon and is now simply a really big hit.”

Finally, after declining ratings for three years straight, the Robertsons announced Duck Dynasty was ending. After five years of duck-hunting adventures, it was time to call it quits. The family announced the series’ ending through a Facebook video posted on November 16, 2016.

According to A&E’s official statements, it was a mutual decision between the Robertsons and A&E to end the show in Season 11. “After five years, 130 episodes, and one of the biggest hits in the history of cable, the Robertson family and A&E jointly decided that Duck Dynasty, the series, will come to an end after this season.

Where Are the Robertsons Now?

Though the show ended, every member of the Robertson clan remains active online. From podcasts to writing and even political careers, let’s take a look at what the cast of Duck Dynasty has been up to these days:

Phil Robertson Is Still Making Videos

Duck Dynasty might be over, but Phil remains as active in front of the cameras as ever. He starred in Steve Bannon’s Torchbearer, a film where Phil discusses “The absurdity of life without God.”

In 2023, the entire Robertson clan came to theaters – technically – in The Blind. The movie is a biopic centered around Phil’s early years and life before the show became a media sensation.

Nowadays, Phil remains primarily active in creating content on YouTube. Alongside his son, Jase, Phil stars in the Unashamed podcast. The videos discuss life after Duck Dynasty, the current state of affairs, and Duck Commander’s ongoing businesses.

As for his controversies, Phil sticks to his guns. In 2022, Phil released Uncanceled. The book discusses his core beliefs, sustaining that he firmly believes “The wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Kay Robertson Loves Cooking

Kay Robertson from Duck Dynasty

After the show, Kay found her true calling in cooking and bakery. She ran a restaurant located in West Monroe, Louisiana, called Miss Kay’s Sweet and Eats. Unfortunately, the eatery permanently closed its doors sometime in 2020.

That same year, Kay and Phil welcomed a new daughter to the family – though not in the way they were expecting. Phyllis Robertson was conceived out of wedlock, in an affair between Phil and another woman. Phyllis didn’t know Phil was her dad until 2019 when she found out the man she thought was her biological father wasn’t related to her.

Kay welcomed Phyllis into the fold with open arms. She also frequently appears in Phil and Jase’s Unashamed podcast and on the I Am Second ministry’s YouTube channel.

Uncle Si is as Sicotic as Ever

Uncle Si Robertson on Duck Dynasty

Fan-favorite Uncle Si is as lively as ever, even though he had a brush with death in late 2022. That year, Si caught COVID, which, coupled with his lifelong smoking habit, culminated in severe lung damage.

Si underwent a “life-saving operation” in September 2022. The procedure was a success, and the zany uncle was quick to update his fans.

Before that, however, Si kept active in the entertainment industry. In 2017, he and his daughter-in-law formed Uncle Si and the Sicotics. The band released their first single that very same year. Needless to say, the band has all of Si’s unbridled energy.

He also starred in A&E’s short-lived Duck Dynasty spin-off, Going Si-Ral. In the series, Uncle Si, along with his trusty Si-kick, Willie, explore the wonders of the internet. Full episodes of the show are available completely free on YouTube on Duck Dynasty‘s official channel.

Willie Robertson Is Still the Undisputed CEO

Willie Robertson on Duck Dynasty

Duck Commander’s CEO Willie Robertson has followed politics closely since Duck Dynasty ended. He endorsed former president Donald Trump in his 2016 and 2020 campaigns and even visited the White House during Trump’s tenure.

He also mentioned he has no concrete political aspirations but hasn’t entirely ruled out the idea. Still, politics come second when it comes to Willie, as he’s still in charge of the Duck Commander business.

Willie also worked in the film Torchbearer as a producer. An accomplished writer, Willie has authored a good number of books, including Gospeler, The Duck Commander Family, and American Hunter.

The star of the show was also involved in a bizarre legal battle in 2021 when the suspect of a drive-by shooting against Willie’s residence sued the Robertsons for defamation.

Korie and Sadie: Mother-Daughter Dynamic Duo

Korie and Sadie Robertson from the Duck Dynasty TV show at the God's Not Dead 2 Los Angeles Premiere in 2016
Credit: Ga Fullner / Shutterstock.com

The mother-daughter team of Korie and Sadie Robertson remains as effective as ever at managing the Dynasty’s brand. Just like her husband, Korie is also a prolific author. Since the show ended, Korie has published books on life behind the scenes for the Duck Commander crew and the family’s faith.

Besides working in the family’s business, Korie and Sadie like to keep a fit lifestyle. Korie’s Instagram page reflects their love for outdoor activities, as she usually posts about going camping, working out, or just enjoying a well-deserved day at the pool.

Sadie also hosts a podcast, called WHOA That’s Good. She discusses all sorts of topics but mostly focuses on conversations on faith.

Jep and Jess – Heirs to the Dynasty

Jep and Jess Robertson in their 'Get to Know Us' YouTube video

Jep and Jess Robertson starred on the Duck Dynasty spin-off show, Jep and Jessica: Growing the Dynasty. The series – which aired for two seasons between 2016 and 2017 – follows Phil and Kay’s youngest son as he navigates marriage with his wife, Jess. The couple adopts a baby boy named Gus, raising him along with their four other children.

In 2017, the couple delved into the world of podcasts with The Jep and Jess Show. Unfortunately, the project was short-lived, ending after only 33 episodes.

Still, the couple’s entrepreneurial spirit remains untouched. In 2021, Jep and Jess launched Calvary, a new jewelry line. The brand features handcrafted pieces inspired by their faith and family.

Jase and Missy are Fighting for a Good Cause

Jase and Missy Robertson in a YouTube video talking about their new baby

After the show, Jase remains closely associated with his father. He’s become Phil’s right hand in the Unashamed podcast. He also worked closely with I Am Second for the production of their Dysfunction to Dynasty series.

Together with his wife Missy, the couple established the Mia Moo Foundation in 2014. Dedicated to raising awareness for cleft lip and palate treatments, Jase famously shaved his beard to collect funds for the cause.

The couple also owns the Oak River Company, a business that sells leather goods. The line is inspired by Jase and Missy’s love for the outdoors and nature.