It's also a show that 67-year-old Robertson, who sports a beard that seemingly should qualify him for immediate membership in the rock group ZZ Top, is at the center of.
When or if he'll return — or if he'll ever really go away, however — is an open question.
"Duck Dynasty" is on hiatus until Jan. 15, and a network spokesman said Thursday that nine of next season's 10 episodes have already been filmed. That means Robertson likely isn't needed in front of the camera before next March, by which time this whole crisis may have blown over.
And blow over it will, eventually, says veteran Hollywood crisis publicist Howard Bragman, who added that Robertson will likely return to the show as well, perhaps after making a heartfelt apology.
"There's too much money at stake," said Bragman, vice president of reputation.com. "Although he plays kind of a hick on TV, I don't think he's dumb. I think he gets what's at stake here. And I hope people on his team, the network and his producers get the message that what he did was wrong. "
The Robertson family released a statement on the Duck Commander website (http://bit.ly/1c5vI5G ) Thursday evening in which they expressed thanks for prayers and support. The statement said though some of Robertson's comments were coarse, "his beliefs are grounded" in the Bible and he "is a Godly man."
"We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith," the statement said. "We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty."
Robertson and his extended family became wealthy manufacturing duck calls and were turned into TV and pop culture stars by "Duck Dynasty," which has set cable ratings records for a non-fiction series.
"Duck Dynasty" is often the highest-rated cable show on television, and an episode last August that drew nearly 12 million viewers was the highest-rated of any show, cable or broadcast, that week.
Asked his definition of sinful behavior by GQ, Robertson replied, "Start with homosexual behavior and just go from there."
Then he continued, "Don't be deceived. Neither 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. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
Although his suspension won quick praise from gay rights groups, it offended people like Peter, who says conservative views like his are often overlooked by Hollywood and the news media.
"I think we're getting a little bit tired of that pro-gay sentiment that's out there in the media and it's time to fight back," he said.
Randy Schmidt of Illinois agreed, saying that while gay people can be happy that some states have granted them the right to marry, "I find it unnecessary to flaunt it all over the media."