Screenshot from A&E.

That Ain’t Duck Dynasty’s House

A recent image from the series reinforces the truth of the term “reality television”: it’s an oxymoron.

For 24 years I lived in the North Louisiana region that A&E’s Duck Dynasty (2012- ) has made famous. I’ve written before about my relationship with the reality TV show and the “rednecks” that inhabit it — their label for themselves, not mine.

Despite my ties to Monroe, Louisiana, the people, and landscape, I do not watch Duck Dynasty. But on occasion, my husband does — and since we have just one television, that means then, on occasion, I also watch the show.

I have probably seen 10 full episodes of Duck Dynasty — enough to be weirded out that 11 million viewers have entered the same donut shop my family used to go to on Saturday mornings, the store in which my prom date was fitted for his tuxedo, and the bowling alley where we used to throw kids’ birthday parties.

For the curious, Louisiana Destinations will give you more of the show’s filming locations, and Duck Commander Hometown will take you on tours of the Twin Cites, Monroe (city pop. 50,000) and West Monroe (city pop. 13,000).

The show’s on-location shooting inside familiar donut shops and bowling alleys is undoubtedly odd (to me). But it was another image from Duck Dynasty that made me do a double-take — and reinforced what my academic colleagues, many astute viewers, and I already understand about the term reality television: it’s an oxymoron.

A recent episode of Duck Dynasty (8.4) used the following mansion as an establishing shot of Willie and Korie Robertson’s house.

Screenshot from A&E.
Aerial shots, Monroe, LA. Images: Pinterest.

Willie Robertson narrates Duck Dynasty and is the CEO of Duck Commander, and Korie Robertson helps to manage the duck-calling business. The two are indeed wealthy, as is the rest of the Robertson family. Their business is allegedly worth about $20 million, and in 2013 alone, the family’s merchandise from the series was worth around $400 million.

But this is not the Robertson’s house.

This is the Hakim’s house. Well, it’s one of the Hakim’s houses. I heard all about Eddie Hakim while growing up. He’s a millionaire and Monroe’s biggest landlord with more than 300 properties to his name, according to this news story.

But he’s not just interested in houses. You know those sippy cups for kids? Yep, Hakim.

Nuby sippy cups via Nuby.

Sidenote: Monroe, Louisiana, boasts an interesting history for such a little town. It’s the home of Delta Airlines, cropdusting, the founder of WWII’s Flying Tigers, and bottled Coca-Cola (although Vicksburg, MS, will fight you on that last one).

Btw, dude who bottled Coca-Cola, Joseph Bidenharn, has a lovely house in Monroe as well, now a museum. Way back in 1998, that’s where my bridal portraits were made.

One of General Chennault’s Flying Tigers (via Wikimedia Commons) and one of my bridal portraits (via me).

In any event, Hakim’s mansion sits a block from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana University), where I received my B.A. and M.A. In fact, when I was attending school, I lived about a mile from this house. Then, it was basically a funky lot with some wood and brick sitting atop it — it looked like crap. As you can imagine, this massive house took FOREVER to build.

I don’t know who lives in Hakim’s house now, but it ain’t the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. No duck calls here, just bridal portraits, like this lovely one from Unveiled Radiance photography.