Duck Dynasty stars Jep and Jessica Robertson are coming under fire for decisions the couple made in a recent episode, the Independent Journal reported this week.
The controversy surrounds the new Duck Dynasty reality spin-off Jep & Jessica: Growing The Dynasty. The new series focuses on the adoption of the Robertsons’ new African American son Jules Augustus. The adoption took place in the first episodes of the Duck Dynasty spin-off, giving the family their fifth child to go with Lily, Merritt, Priscilla, and River.
Where the controversy originated was with a recent episode. On it, the Duck Dynasty stars took their new son – affectionately called Baby Gus – to the doctor for his circumcision, filming the family’s reaction to the medical process for the show.
While circurmcisions are routine medical practices, some fans of the Duck Dynasty series were not amused with the decision to broadcast the details of the event – although none of the medical procedure was actually recorded for the cameras. On the official Duck Dynasty Facebook page, several users blasted the show, citing the process as unnecessary. One user in particular had harsh criticisms of the decision.
“Very Christ like to adopt a sweet innocent baby then chop up his genitals and broadcast the horror on television. This family is disgusting and undeserving of that precious gift… I can’t believe you put that poor baby through a procedure that you don’t even know anything about! You’re laughing about it before hand then you can’t even bare to watch! Think of how that poor baby felt as he was being ripped and cut! He was screeching for his “mommy” to help him and she sat there RECORDING his torture! … You are a sick bunch. I can’t believe that horrific video was allowed on television.”
While multiple Facebook followers came to the Duck Dynasty stars’ defense, other users decried the medical procedure. One cited the Bible as a reason not to have the procedure done while another user declared circumcisions could cause preventable injuries to the child.
The number of circumcisions has declined over the last three decades, the Huffington Post reported in 2014. From 1979 to 2010, the rates dropped from nearly 65 percent of families electing to have this procedure to a low in 2007 of 55.4 percent of males having the procedure done. Despite being nestled in the south — where some of the highest circumcision rates persist — the Duck Dynasty clan’s native state of Louisiana has only a 42 percent incidence rate for the procedure.
Despite the brewing controversy around the circumcision decision, the Robertsons have adjusted well to their latest addition in a number of television stops to promote the current season’s shows, including the family’s leading male. Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson was not with the family when Jep and Jessica went on Good Morning America to discuss their newest addition. However, Jep said that Phil was very happy to have Baby Gus in the fold.
“He loves him. He always said, and I guess this never got quoted, is that, ‘We’re all part of one race, the human race.'”
The couple decided to adopt another child for two reasons, Jessica shared recently. In addition to wanting another child to love, the reality star of Duck Dynasty fame also wanted to avoid potentially-life threatening medical risks of giving birth.
“I had some health risks, so I wasn’t able to have another child, physically. It was on my heart so heavy. A year and a half ago, Jep came on board. He was like, ‘You know what, it’s a God thing. If it’s so heavy on your heart, this is something we need to do.'”
What do you think about the latest controversy surrounding the Duck Dynasty series? Leave your thought in the comment section below.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]