UPDATE 3:56 PM: TLC has pulled 19 Kids And Counting from its line-up after following backlash over the Josh Duggar child molestation scandal. In addition, the network also received a great deal of negative criticism for deciding to air a 19 Kids And Counting marathon in the wake of the scandal.
Although TLC refused to comment on Thursday, actions speak louder than words. This move may spell the end of the Duggars’ reality television series.
Josh Duggar had all but confessed to having molested at least five young girls over a decade ago, adding to the growing child molestation problems over at TLC. The network dropped the popular Here Comes Honey Boo Boo reality show after it was revealed that matriarch Mama June was dating a convicted child molester. With Duggar accused of molesting multiple girls, including his sisters, there are already calls for TLC to add the Duggar clan to the network’s “canceled” list.
Interestingly enough, TLC opted to air 19 Kids And Counting the same day that the molestation charges were positively confirmed by multiple news sources. This led to major backlash across the Internet. It’s possible that sponsors may feel pressured to disassociate with the network. When that happens, expect TLC to give the Duggar family the boot.
Good decision? TLC aired a 19 Kids and Counting marathon amid Josh Duggar's molestation allegations last night: http://t.co/IBgVjoHlUI
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) May 22, 2015
The ugly scandal erupted when In Touch Weekly exclusively reported that it had uncovered proof that Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year to go to police after learning that son Josh had allegedly molested multiple girls. Although the Duggar clan informed church elders, no move was made to allow for an official police investigation. Duggar apparently confessed to fondling the breasts of an unnamed minor in 2002. Although he was reportedly “punished” by family and sent to Christian counseling, there were no legal ramifications or move to keep potential victims away from Duggar.
Gossip site TMZ later confirmed through law enforcement that Josh Duggar was named as the molester of at least five girls as early as 2002.
The 19 Kids And Counting star released a statement after the shocking secret was revealed.
“I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
As the Duggar family have been outspoken opponents of same-sex marriage and gay rights, this incident seems to be vindication for those who felt that the condemnation of the television family would inevitably reveal a level of hypocrisy. Although the Duggars are quick to ask for forgiveness and avoidance of criminal prosecution for Josh, some are wondering whether or not this blatant hypocrisy will silence the Duggars on matters of same-sex marriage.
— PinkNews (@pinknews) May 22, 2015
In response to the scandal, Josh Duggar has resigned from his position at the Family Research Council. His wife Anna Duggar is standing by him after admitting to the fact that she knew about the molestation incident as he confessed his actions to her before they were married.
Will TLC will remove the Duggar family from their programming due to this scandal? Do you believe Josh Duggar is still actively molesting children despite his alleged counseling? Comment your feelings below!
[Image Credit: Entertainment Tonight]