Whether or not you’re a conservative or a liberal, the funny thing about reality is that it’s real whether you want to believe in it or not. It’s a line often used when talking about those who don’t believe in science. People can deny things like evolution all they want, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s real.
The same goes for the downward spiral of Duck Dynasty’s ratings. The fact that this season was possibly their worst yet is indisputable. Sure, someone might deny that fact, but that doesn’t change the reality that this season’s ratings were horrible.
Take for instance their season finale. Ratings weren’t only down for this season’s finale over last, but they were the lowest ratings since the first season. Around 6 million people tuned in for this season’s finale, down from 8.4 million the season before.
For another look at numbers, last season’s premiere netted 11.5 million viewers, this season – 8.5 million. Which is significant considering the “overwhelming support” the Robertson family (and the show) were to have supposedly received from conservatives following Phil Robertson’s suspension for his highly offensive comments about homosexuals and African-Americans.
This is why boycotts work more than “a wave of support.” If millions of people completely stop giving their “business” (be it through eating at an establishment or watching a show) that means that particular business loses out completely – and possibly forever – on those customers.
Sure, that business might get a temporary uptick of support from those who don’t oppose whatever it was that caused a boycott, but that’s going to fade out over time. Unless those people who support the business frequent it at such a rate that it makes up for the millions who refuse to give it any kind of business whatsoever – the boycott undoubtedly has an impact.
But in the case of Duck Dynasty, it doesn’t even seem like conservatives rushed to support it. It appeared they would show huge support following their “outrage” at his suspension, but the numbers tell a different story.
So, were Phil Robertson’s comments to blame? There’s really no way to tell with absolute certainty. But it does say something to me that following those comments, Duck Dynasty experienced possibly its most disappointing season yet.
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