Cracker Barrel followed in the footsteps of A&E by distancing itself from "Duck Dynasty" after the show's star Phil Robertson landed in hot water due to his controversial anti-gay comments. The restaurant chain quietly pulled some of its "Duck Dynasty"-themed products from its stores on Friday, December 20, but the move didn't sit well with fans.
After removing several items and slashed prices on some others, Cracker Barrel enraged its customers. One of the offended fans wrote on Facebook, "Sad. Worried about offending gays? What about offending Christians???????????"
The company initially defended its move, saying in a statement, "Cracker Barrel's mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture."
"We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores. We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation. We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so."
Two days later, however, Cracker Barrel apparently had a change of heart. The company has put the "Duck Dynasty" merchandises back on its restaurants and stores, apologizing for its "mistake."
"Our intent was to avoid offending, but that's just what we've done," the company announced on Sunday. "Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores." They added, "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."
The company additionally wrote, "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. We listened."
Robertson has been placed under hiatus from filming "Duck Dynasty" following his statement on GQ, in which he said, "...the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't inherit the kingdom of God."
The rest of the family, however, stated that the they "cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm." A source close to the situation recently said the network hoped that tensions over shooting future episodes would be resolved after the holidays. "There's no negotiation to have; we're doing the show," the insider claimed. "We'll figure out a solution. It's just not going to happen overnight. Everybody will take a break for the holidays and regroup afterward. That's probably the smartest thing for everyone to do. Time heals a lot of wounds."