In what might be called a Hollywood trend, Jep Robertson and his wife, Jessica, stars of the wildly successful Duck Dynasty franchise, recently adopted an African-American baby, Jules Augustus Robertson, or baby Gus.
Baby Gus made his debut on Jep and Jessica: Growing the Dynasty on A&E this Wednesday.
Social media predictably weighed in this week, with the more optimistic among us noting that it’s sweet; the more cynical say that the “Duckmans’” newest addition is at best a prop to plug their new spinoff. Or, at worst, “God help this kid.”
Jessica and Jep, who have four biological children ranging in age from 7 to 13, revealed to Us Weekly that Jessica, 35, is unable to bear any more children because of “some health risks.”
They also told the entertainment outlet that the adoption process has been an “emotional roller coaster” lasting three or four years, and two adoptions fell through before they were able to take baby Gus home.
“We went to the adoption agency and we said, ‘We don’t care what race, what gender,’” said Jep, 37, to Us Weekly. ‘We just want to have a baby, so whatever happens, happens.’ So we got us a little Gus.’”
— Jep Robertson (@JepDuckman) January 21, 2016
Many may recall that the family became embroiled in a public relations nightmare two years ago when patriarch Phil Robertson said in an interview with GQ that black people were not really mistreated in the pre-civil-rights era.
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” Robertson said. “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, prewelfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
Predictably, Duck Dynasty—now in its ninth season—took a hit in ratings.