Sunday, December 22, 2013

Duck Dynasty's Lesson: Money Doesn't Drive TV

One of the most important lessons we're learning from the Duck Dynasty fiasco is this: we may finally be able to put the rest the idea that TV and culture and media in general is driven almost exclusively by monetary concerns, as opposed to cultural concerns.

Remember that line? "The reason you see what you see on TV and in movies and in comics is because that's what people want! No one is pushing an agenda. They'll create whatever will sell!"? That's been one of a number of pacifying refrains told to social conservatives over the years. A way to try and get creators off the hook for what they produce, because in the end they just want to make money - a great capitalist ethic if ever there was one - and they're giving the people what they want. If the people wanted some folksy social conservative valued programming, they'd get it.

In the case of Duck Dynasty, it was provided. By accident. Quite possibly to the chagrin of the people who provided it. Duck Dynasty turned out to be a show about some eccentric Christians who America ended up admiring rather than laughing at, and while the money was good, the cultural message was a bit too much to bear. And if attacking that message meant sacrificing some money, well you know what? Money isn't everything. Plenty of people are willing to sacrifice money - especially if they're comfortable anyway - to advance their agenda.

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