Duck Dynasty and Cosmos are two of the contenders for the category “Best Reality Series” in the upcoming Critic’s Choice Awards. There are four other shows competing in the category, but according to Cosmos host Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Duck Dynasty is the one he’s worried about.
Appearing on The Tonight Show Thursday night, he told Jimmy Fallon that he doesn’t mind losing, but doesn’t want to lose to “the duck people.”
The awards will be presented on June 19, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and of course, broadcast live on the CW. The other shows in the category are Deadliest Catch, Undercover Boss, Mythbusters, and Top Gear.
While Tyson’s show and his self-stated highest-concerning competitor don’t appear to have much in common at first glance, it’s fair to say both have ruffled a few feathers of late, and not only the duck kind.
Duck Dynasty has gone through a great deal of controversy in the past half-year, beginning when patriarch Phil Robertson spoke to GQ in December, suggesting black people were better off when they were working in the fields and didn’t have equal rights, and listing homosexuality together with bestiality as a sin. The original article on GQ‘s website no longer reflects all of the comments, but the CNN article repeats the comments in full:
“Start with homosexuality and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
Duck Dynasty‘s fate was up in the air, briefly, as Phil was suspended, then quickly brought back after the rest of the family said they wouldn’t do the show without him.
A series of events since then has frustrated much of the public, as the Duck Dynasty guys have shown up at the Republican Leadership Conference and other government functions, and additional video has surfaced of Robertson speaking on such topics as the importance of marrying a woman who’s still young so you can teach her to take care of your needs. (In addition to the Duck Dynasty show, Robertson is a preacher and speaker.)
Meanwhile, Cosmos has been angering a different group of viewers. Unlike Duck Dynasty, it has done so with it’s content, not the star’s off-screen antics.
Specifically, by explaining in simple terms such things as the big bang, evolution, and other bits of science that aren’t controversial to scientists but make some outside the scientific community uncomfortable, Tyson’s show upset some creationists. While many simply chose not to watch the show, The Huffington Post reported that Answers in Genesis‘s Danny Faulkner was insisting the show wasn’t fair, because it didn’t give equal airtime to creationism.
In fact, while Cosmos and Duck Dynasty‘s content don’t really carry any diametrically opposite views or content, the expressed viewpoints of their stars seem to represent opposite ends of the spectrum on certain religious matters, and the same can be said of the largest portions of the fan following. Still, the competition won’t be a matter of Christians vs Atheists or Evolutionists vs Creationists.
Duck Dynasty doesn’t only resonate with Christians, nor with all Christians. Though the show includes clips of the family praying, and a Duck Commander Bible is due out for Christmas, it’s a show about ducks, hunting, and duck hunting, not about Christianity. Meanwhile, Cosmos has had detractors among science fans, many of whom have said it was too cartoon-heavy for their tastes. It also has Christian fans, including some who believe in evolution and some who simply don’t think the show demonstrated evolution as a separate thing from the guiding hand of God.
Which show, if either, are you rooting for? Comment to let us know why you support Duck Dynasty, or why you’re a Cosmos fan!