Thousands baptized after watching Phil Robertson's story of addiction, redemption, says Korie Robertson

Korie Robertson
Korie Robertson | YouTube/ Sadie Robertson

The Robertson family of “Duck Dynasty” fame has always been open about their lives, both good and bad, even candidly depicting Phil Robertson’s early struggles with alcohol addiction in the film “The Blind.”

It’s exactly this kind of transparency that has allowed audiences of all backgrounds to feel a genuine connection to the Robertson family. 

“We want to show God's faithfulness to us,” Korie Robertson told The Christian Post. “We went to Phil to talk to him about doing this movie because it's his story. He shows the hardest parts of his life, and that's tough to put it out there on the screen.”

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“The Blind,” now streaming on Great American Pure Flix, unpacks Phil’s story from his childhood through 1985 and focuses on the challenges faced by the bearded Louisiana native and his wife, Kay Robertson, during the early years of their marriage. Disillusioned by his father’s abandonment of his family, Robertson is shown struggling with anger issues, alcoholism and emotional instability — until he surrenders his life to Jesus. 

At the heart of "The Blind" lies a narrative of redemption and faithfulness, themes deeply intertwined with the Robertson family's journey. Korie highlighted the significance of portraying the raw and broken parts of their story to underscore God's unwavering faithfulness. 

“Phil said, from day one, ‘If it impacts one person, if one person changes their life and gives their life to Jesus, because of my story, because of the darkest parts of my story, I'll do it. It'll be worth it.’ One of the greatest rewards has just been to read the comments and read the emails that have come in that have told us the life change that has happened in people's lives after seeing this film.”

Korie, who is married to Phil’s son, Willie, said the family has heard countless stories of those who've been baptized, delivered from addiction or seen their marriages healed after watching the movie. Some of the baptisms, she said, have happened right in Phil’s backyard. 

“I wish we knew how many thousands of people have been baptized in that river right behind Phil and Kay's house because Phil loves to baptize people and has done it right there in his backyard for years and years and years," she said.

"People would head straight to the church or head straight to the body of water right after seeing the movie; one group had like 27 baptisms, and right after the film, everyone just kind of continued and went somewhere worshiped.”

“One woman said her husband had been an alcoholic for 17 years, he never goes to the movies with her. She convinced him to come to the movie with her because he loved Phil and our show. He reached over and held her hand for the first time in years while they were watching the movie. I read that and just bawled.”

As a producer on the film — and a member of the family — Korie Robertson said delving into her in-law's story also impacted her views of redemption and family unity. It was profoundly emotional, she said, to witness the power of forgiveness and transformation.

“One of the things Kay taught me early on is forgiveness and its impact and power,” she said. “There’s this narrative that we have in the world that people can't change, and seeing their lives and Phil's life showed me early on that people can change, they can and they do. You can hold out hope for that.”

Being honest and open about their lives hasn’t always come without a cost; Robertson shared how her family has faced criticism over the years, most famously in 2013, when “Duck Dynasty” was suspended after Phil shared his belief that homosexuality is a sin.

“I'm pretty immune to [criticism],” Robertson said. “We talked to our kids so many times, from an early age, from whenever we very first started ‘Duck Dynasty’ and said, ‘You only need to listen to the people who know you and love you, and to God.’”

Recently, she said, her daughter, podcaster Sadie Robertson Huff, “went through a couple of really strong criticisms on social media that really hurt her."

“We talk about what we know to be true, what's really important," she said. "We have to, in humility, go to the Lord and say, ‘Hey, is there something here that I need to learn or I need to hear?’ We just circle it back in and look to God and to one another for where we get our wisdom and our strength.”

Now a grandmother herself, Robertson said she’s seen firsthand the power and impact of raising children who know and love the Lord and how that kind of relationship can change the trajectory of one’s life, as demonstrated by Phil’s testimony. 

“When Phil got baptized that day, and Kay turned her life to Jesus, that life change has changed not only their life but our life and our kids' lives and will impact generations to come,” she said. 

Today, the Robertsons continue to use their platform for good, nearly seven years after “Duck Dynasty” ended.

In April, Korie and Sadie Robertson are speaking at The Chosen Conference at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, which seeks to empower local churches to establish adoption and foster care ministry within their church and community, engage believers to understand their role in supporting adoption and foster care and equip families who have been called to adopt and foster.

Robertson, whose family has both fostered and adopted children, said the issues are “close to her heart.”

“We love family, we love big families,” she said. “We’re excited to be there … we have a belief that all life matters, that we are made in the image of God, and every single life matters. It has value and worth. Sadie's whole entire ministry is ‘Live Original’ because when she was little, Willie called her ‘the original.’ It’s this idea that we are all made original, we all are made unique, and God fashioned each and every one of us. There’s nothing more important than that.”

Robertson encouraged parents to pray for their children in a culture that might not always support such beliefs. Reflecting on her own experiences as a parent, she recounted a pivotal moment during a Bible study where she was prompted to identify the core values she wished to impart to her children. 

"That night, I chose 'strong and kind,'" she said.

“I thought, they need to be strong in this world, it's not going to be easy, there's going to be things that are going to sway them and knock them,” Robertson added. “I envisioned growing their roots deep so that when the tough times come, their roots are deep, they're the strong tree that's planted by the living water that the Scripture talks about in Psalm 1. Have them ready to be strong and know that they can be strong in the Lord.”

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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