Scott and Deirdre Gurney, who created Duck Dynasty, have been suspended from the company they created in 2005, Gurney Productions, as its owner investigates them for fraud.
ITV bought Gurney Productions for $40 million three years ago, and the Gurneys have now “been temporarily suspended amid an internal fraud investigation,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, which reports that “the Gurneys have been placed on a short-term leave of absence amid the internal probe. No charges have been filed. Sources tell THR the investigation concerns potential billing irregularities associated with Gurney programs.”
Gurney has also produced other shows, including fictional, deceptive faux documentaries such as Voodoo Shark, the fake Shark Week show whose producers lied to scientists.
Their flagship show, Duck Dynasty, was just cancelled by A&E, but will air one more season.
In a statement, ITV said that:
“The board of Gurney Productions is currently in discussion with Scott and Deirdre Gurney about future arrangements with them. Craig Armstrong has been appointed interim CEO of Gurney Productions. Craig is an Emmy award-winning producer whose credits include King of the Nerds for TBS, CBS’ Survivor and ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Craig, along with his producing partner Rick Ringbakk, is co-founder and co-CEO of 5×5 Media, which will continue to operate as before.”
A message from Armstrong to Gurney Productions staff said, in part:
“I do want to remind you that it new management is in place immediately and all discussions around Gurney business must be directed to new management. As of today Scott and Deirdre no longer have legal oversight of Gurney Productions.
I do want to remind everyone that it is unlawful to circumvent the new management team or discuss internal operations with Scott and Deirdre.”