In these tenuous times, we found something else that divides us: “Duck Dynasty.” While diehard fans excitedly pepper the cast with hunting questions, others stare at the bearded guy and wonder “What’s a ‘Duck Dynasty’?”
That’s how it went Wednesday night, when Willie and Korie Robertson showed up at the Reagan Building. The stars of the smash hit A&E reality show (about multimillionaire duck call manufacturers) took a break from filming in their home of Louisiana to receive the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s annual Angels in Adoption award — the couple adopted their son, Will, when he was an infant.
Clad in jeans and his trademark American flag bandana, Willie – CEO of the family-owned business — displayed the charm that made the Robertsons TV stars. “I really didn’t know what exactly this was, I’ll admit,” he told the crowd. His wife gave him his marching orders about the trip to D.C.: “You don’t have to wear a suit, food will be free, and we’re talking about adoption.”
His advice on the shutdown? “I understand what it’s like – you should try to get Uncle Si to make duck calls in the duck call room. It’s probably harder running the government of the United States.” (Yeah, it went over our heads, too.)
It’s rare when a reality TV star overshadows an actually movie star, but there you go. Hugh Jackman — one of People’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” no less — deliberately took a backseat to his honoree wife, Australian actress Deborra-lee Furness. The couple has two adopted children, Oscar and Ava, but Jackman never took the stage in order to give his advocate wife the spotlight.
Instead, Oscar Jackman appeared with his mom. “He wanted to come up here tonight, which he doesn’t normally do,” Furness said. Oscar shyly pulled at his sleeves as mom explained he recently took a lineage test and was proud to discover he’s from North Africa and Bosnia.
The evening, filled with more touching stories about adoption and foster care, was decidedly lighthearted, thanks to evening’s hosts, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy – the couple depicted in “The Blind Side” who adopted Baltimore Ravens player Michael Oher.
“How many people here haven’t seen ‘The Blind Side’?” asked Leigh Anne.
“Most of you aren’t working now,” cracked Sean. “You can go see it!”
Furlough jokes — and yes, people laughed.