“Duck Dynasty” is dealing with welfare accusations after revelations the show is receiving a large sum of money from subsidies. Penn Live reports on Thursday that the show is receiving money from taxpayers because Louisiana provides help to encourage television production in the state. The money, currently estimated to be $6.2 million, is paid to the cast and production.
The A&E show qualifies for tax subsidies from the state that are reserved for TV programs to encourage the industry’s growth. The Robertson family also benefits from the arrangement because the cast can receive payments for episodes. The recent estimate of $6.2 million only includes the first three seasons, so Louisiana taxpayers may end up paying more.
Despite reports that accuse “Duck Dynasty” of benefiting from tax subsidies, there is some confusion about when the show will actually receive the money. A report from the Louisiana Budget Project reveals that the show must finish being audited by the state before the money is released. This means that the Robertson family may have been relying on the A&E paychecks without taxpayer help.
Some fans have pointed out that the Robertsons look down on welfare, but their show benefits from state assistance. Others have mentioned that Louisiana is not the only state to provide television production incentives to attract business, so the network is simply taking advantage of a program available to others. However, there are many mixed responses to the actual benefits of having TV crews and cast members receive taxpayer money.
Ratings for “Duck Dynasty” have been falling this season, and some fans suspect the network may be considering the option of ending the show. The tax subsidies could help it stay on the air, but there is no guarantee that A&E will keep it. The network has not commented on a possible future season for the reality program.