Jay Williams, a father of 34 children with 17 different women, is the latest to suffer the backlash of the Duggar controversy.
While the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which was set to air a series about Williams’ life, hasn’t tied the dad directly to the Duggars, many critics believe that it’s more than a coincidence this cancellation has come on the heels of the TLC nightmare that began when In Touch Weekly broke the news that Josh Duggar had molested five underage girls, including four of his sisters.
Apparently when you get too many people in the family, bad things like this are bound to happen, or so the thinking goes. Still, that’s not the official story that OWN is putting out. In an official release via Opposing Views, here’s what the network has to say about what the series would have been and the decision to cancel.
“OWN has decided not to move forward with the Jay Williams docu-series. The series aimed to follow Jay as he worked to put his life and fractured relationships in order and to hold him accountable every step of the way. The intention was to help Jay work to establish new connections with his family, his children and the mothers of his children. Production has ended and the series will not air.”
The air date was set to be in September, but after TLC ran into scandals with Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo and now 19 Kids and Counting, it’s likely the safe bet to forgo the headache.
Even so, the Jay Williams series had one key difference that might have helped it steer clear of the Duggar problems.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are very politically active and set in their fundamentalist Christian ways. For them to now be going through what they are with their oldest son, it brings a naturally larger amount of negative attention to the show, along with the dreaded “hypocrisy” label.
Jay Williams doesn’t remotely pretend to be a great dad. In fact, his series would have had more of a redemptive tone, so those rigid moral expectations weren’t saddled to the show.
Unfortunately, OWN’s explanation leaves quite a bit of room for interpretation. At the end of the day, it means that Jay, his 34 children, and the 17 moms are going to have to work things out for themselves.
Are you disappointed with this news? Would you have liked to see a reality series about Jay Williams? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via OWN c/o Variety]