Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was nowhere to be seen in a Super Bowl commercial featuring other members of the A&E reality series' cast of bearded bayou businessmen.
Time-Warner's commercial features P. Diddy welcoming viewers to "the new world of Time-Warner Cable." Duck Dynasty's Jase, Will and Uncle Si Robertson are briefly featured amidst a string of high profile TV A-listers including Jimmy Fallon, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Drake, but there's no sign of Duck Commander founder and fan-favorite Phil.
The omission is spurring speculation that Time-Warner might have left Phil out of the commercial because of the controversy that still swirls around comments the family's elders statesman made about homosexuality in an interview with GQ back in December. Among other things, Phil told GQ:
"It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man's anus. That's just me. I'm just thinking: There's more there! She's got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I'm saying? But hey, sin: It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical."
Phil has also been criticized for making comments about life in rural Louisiana before the Civil Rights Movement which some have deemed racist, such as:
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field...They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people'—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
The A&E Network briefly suspended Phil Robertson over the comments, but have since reinstated him. According to a CNN report, the Robertson family stood behind Phil during the ordeal, saying:
"We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. 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."
The other Duck Dynasty cast members featured in the Time-Warner Super Bowl commercial make only a brief appearance. Uncle Si yells "fire in the hole," something blows up, Jase asks, "Didn't I tell you it wouldn't work?" and Willie says, "I can't hear."
In short, fairly typical Duck Dynasty hijinks. It's certainly plausible that Phil - who is generally the straight man of the show - was left out of the commercial for reasons completely unrelated to his controversial comments.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments below. Did Time-Warner leave Phil out of their Super Bowl ad because of the controversy caused by his comments or did they just figure that three Duck Dynasty stars was enough for one commercial?