Josh Duggar decided to opt out of a family outing to a Christian music festival in Ohio, signaling what could be a change in direction that could save the popular 19 Kids and Counting from cancellation.
This weekend Jessa and Jill Duggar took a trip to the ALIVE Christian Music Festival in Ohio, their first public appearance since giving an interview on their brother Josh’s molestation scandal. The festival’s website had originally listed Josh and his wife Anna, but they didn’t show up.
Organizers did not give a reason why Josh Duggar opted out of the festival, but there had been speculation that he may be taking a lower profile in the wake of the scandal, in which he was accused of molesting several children including his own sisters.
Some media critics believed that the only way to keep 19 Kids and Counting on the air would be for Josh Duggar to opt out of the show entirely. The show has managed to weather the controversy that started when Josh’s allegations first came to light, but many believe it will not have a future if Josh remains on it.
Josh has already been removing himself from the public eye. In May, he canceled a scheduled appearance at a Christian home schooling convention.
Organizers said that Josh didn’t want his attention to take away from the event itself.
“While we could fret or argue over what is truth and what is gossip in the recent media reports, we would rather change the focus for a moment to what God has in store for the families that will be arriving on Thursday for Teach Them Diligently in Sandusky, OH,” the program wrote in a public letter.
If Josh skipped the music festival as part of a plan to lower his public stature, it may actually be a good sign for the future of 19 Kids and Counting. There are already rumors that TLC will cancel the original show and instead make a spin-off focusing solely on Jessa and Jill and their growing families, and Josh stepping out could be the first step toward that.
Josh Duggar may have another reason for opting out of the music festival appearance, and it may not be related to 19 Kids and Counting at all. He and wife Anna are expecting a baby girl in just a few weeks, so travel may be difficult for the pair.
[Image via Duggar Family Facebook]