Willie Robertson of 'Duck Dynasty' heads to State of the Union address
"Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson, son of controversial reality show patriarch Phil Robertson, has been invited to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Willie, 41, will be a guest of Rep. Vance McAllister, a Republican congressman from his native Louisiana. The politician announced the news on his Twitter page earlier in the day.
"I'm happy to announce that my friend, constituent & small business owner @williebosshog will be attending tonight's #SOTU as my guest," he said.
Willie has not commented. The bearded reality star had in November endorsed McAllister to be a member of Congress, calling him his "good buddy" in a YouTube video titled "The Vote Commander" -- a play on the Duck Commander, a duck call device the family manufactures, which is also the name of their successful company. His younger brother Jep Robertson, 35, also recorded a similar clip. (Watch the videos below.)
Other famous State of the Union invitees include survivors and heroes from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and Jason Collins, an openly gay basketball player. They were invited as guests of First Lady Michelle Obama.
Phil Robertson controversy, "Duck Dynasty" ratings
Willie's father Phil, 67, stirred controversy in December when GQ published an interview with him in which he made anti-gay remarks. Amid criticism from many viewers and groups such as the gay rights organization GLAAD, his family said in a statement that they are "disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right."
The cable channel A&E, which airs "Duck Dynasty," suspended him from filming new episodes of the reality show, then later that month, said in a statement it would resume production this spring "with the entire Robertson family." It also said that it would launch a national public service campaign "promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people."
"Duck Dynasty," one of the most popular reality shows, is currently on its fifth season. Its most recently episode, which aired on Wednesday, was the top-rated cable program that day with a 2.9 rating among adults between ages 18 and 49 and 6.65 million viewers -- down from a 3.4 rating and 8.5 million viewers for its season premiere.
So far, the show's ratings were the highest in the summer of 2013 -- its season 4 premiere was watched by 11.7 million people and received a 5.0 rating.