Cracker Barrel reverses decision to pull Duck Dynasty products

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(Photo: A&E Networks via CNN)

(Photo: A&E Networks via CNN)

LEBANON, Tenn. — Cracker Barrel on Sunday reversed its decision to pull some Duck Dynasty-themed products from its shelves.

The popular Duck Dynasty television show and Duck Commander products took center stage in a controversy over comments made by Phil Robertson. As patriarch of the family and founder of the company, he stars in the A&E reality show based on his Louisiana life and company.

Cracker Barrel, a chain of over 600 Southern-themed restaurants and stores, said Friday it “removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation.”

Two days later, it had evaluated the situation.

“Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done,” the company announced. “Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.”

It cited messages of support, including on social media, for Robertson, a hunter who is known as the Duck Commander and for 40 years has sold the duck calls he designed.

“You told us we made a mistake,” Cracker Barrel said. “And, you weren’t shy about it.”

Within hours, a version of the announcement posted to Facebook had been shared tens of thousands of times.

Cracker Barrel’s website doesn’t list the calls, which look like whistles and retail on the Duck Commander website for between $10 and $150. But Cracker Barrel does sell t-shirts, a talking keychain and camouflage jelly beans with the Duck Commander logo. It also stocks Robertson’s autobiography, his wife’s cookbook and a mug bearing his catchphrase: “Happy happy happy.”

Jeff Eller, a spokesman for Cracker Barrel, said products with the television show branding had been pulled but were now in stock again. He said stores offer a broader selection of Duck Dynasty products than does the website.

Robertson stirred controversy with comments he made in a GQ interview about homosexuality, bestiality and race.

A&E said he was indefinitely suspended from the show, but did not clarify what that meant for the announced January debut of a fifth season. It said the fourth season premiere had nearly 12 million viewers, making it the no. 1 nonfiction series in cable history.

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