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American Pickers' Danielle Colby Breaks Her Silence Following Frank Fritz Firing

"American Pickers" is a classic staple of reality TV. The History series has been around since 2010 and (until recently), featured friends Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe traveling around the country buying antiques and selling them for a tidy profit. The business-within-a-show where all of the action happens is known as Antique Archaeology, and Danielle Colby runs the whole operation, while Fritz and Wolfe seek out all those juicy, profitable treasures that fans eagerly tune in to see. 

Unfortunately, some recent casting changes mean that Fritz will no longer be available for the next few seasons of the show. This all stems from a feud between the two male co-stars (as reported by The Sun). Despite years of friendship, the two men look like they may no longer be working together flipping antiques. The whole issue boiled over into public view after Fritz confirmed that he would not be returning to "American Pickers" despite concluding his stint in rehab to treat alcohol addiction. In that same bombshell interview, Fritz divulged that he and Wolfe had not spoken in years even though he described their previous relationship as close enough to "finish each other's sentences."

Wolfe later added fuel to the fire of speculation with a social media post that confirmed Fritz would not be returning to "American Pickers." That announcement was couched in effusive statements of praise and affection: "I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey." For what it's worth, TMZ speculates that Wolfe would like to replace Fritz with his own brother, Robbie Wolfe. Nepotism lives, apparently.

Colby, who's known by some for the "American Pickers" episode when she went a little too far, is obviously in the middle of everything. She hasn't had much to say about the changes made around her workplace — until now, that is. She broke her silence with a long, emotional Instagram post.

Colby posted an Instagram photo and caption that may leave many fans scratching their heads

Colby recently took to Instagram to let fans know how she feels about all the changes. She had a lot to say, yet seemed to say almost nothing of substance about the interpersonal feud tearing apart her show — unless you read between the lines. 

She rattles off a string of platitudes like "you can only be where you are," "sometimes you just have to be okay with being apart," and "walk in peace and lead with love" without offering much context. Many fans believe that the post is an elliptical reference to all the behind-the-scenes drama that has overwhelmed her business and her reality show. Most of the commentary is vague enough that fans can read into whatever they want. That said, Colby's silence on the whole shakeup has been deafening, so this seems like a potentially deft way to weigh in without coming down hard on either side. It's a no-win situation for Colby, who has to continue working with Wolfe no matter how she feels about Fritz's departure or his treatment. 

The post appears as deeply personal as it is vague. She doesn't name any names or state any specifics, so it's unclear whether she's talking about herself or perhaps referencing the rift between her co-stars Fritz and Wolfe. Based on what we know about their split, though, there are some inferences we could make to bridge the gap between her words and the situation. 

All of this comes in the wake of Frank Fritz's exit from the show

Here's some of the missing context from Colby's post: The Sun also reported that over the two years Wolfe and Fritz weren't speaking, many months of which were during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fritz was admitted into rehab to combat a substance abuse problem. He lost 65 pounds, had serious back surgery, and is finally getting a leg up on his Crohn's Disease. During all of that time, though, Wolfe never bothered to reach out to check in and see if he was okay. That would understandably upset most people — especially people who have the long, intertwined history that these two men do. These details seem to frame Wolfe as the villain of this particular story, and many fans hoped that Colby's take might clarify who's in the right and who's in the wrong. That obviously didn't happen, and the one thing that remains true about this interpersonal saga is that we-the-public clearly don't have a complete picture of the falling out between these two friends.

So is Colby's post a letter to Fritz, letting him know that he is still loved, even in his absence? Or is it more of a goodbye, encouraging him to be strong on his own even though he's no longer a part of the show? Many outlets have been speculating, but a follow-up post with a little more specificity definitely makes it seem like the latter.

Danielle Colby's follow-up post makes it clear that she stands by Wolfe

After letting her fans contemplate the ambiguity of her initial Instagram post for several hours, Colby followed up with a snapshot of her and Wolfe on the road again. The post came with another lengthy caption, and this one addressed the Fritz-Wolfe drama directly.

"I'm truly saddened for the loss of Frank on the show," Colby wrote. "I'm incredibly sad for his struggles. I have personally watched everything over the last decade. I have many thoughts but won't speak them as they are only my my [sic] thoughts, not gospel. I wish things could have been different but we must be accountable for our actions when we cause instability or pain and suffering to others. Frank caused so much pain for himself that it has been hard to watch. I truly hope Frank receives all the help he needs to become well after years of being unwell. It is not my place to speak Ill of someone who needs help so I will keep my comments uplifting."

In the post, Colby also describes Wolfe as her "best friend" and "big brother," and states explicitly that Wolfe is someone she can "support fully and stand behind." If there was any question whether or not Colby supported the decision to part ways with Frank Fritz, this post pretty resoundingly confirms that she stands by Wolfe and his decision to take "American Pickers" in a new direction.