Josh Duggar changed the public perception of the 19 Kids And Counting clan forever, with scandals that range from the publication of reports that he molested several underage girls when he was a teen to his use of the Ashley Madison website for infidelity, confessions to cheating on wife Anna Duggar, and admission that he is addicted to porn. But now, as Josh remains in a treatment facility for sex addiction, the Duggar family as a whole has become at the heart of a controversy about a spin-off of the cancelled 19 Kids And Counting on TLC, now titled Jill and Jessa: Counting On. And it’s caused dissension within the Duggar family, reported Entertainment Tonight.
Although Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald are excited about the specials, which will air over three episodes on TLC, one Duggar family source revealed to ET that the reboot has caused a rift in the family.
“[It’s] turning into a circus… family members are disagreeing with a lot of what they are doing,” said that source.
In addition, the insider revealed that the Duggars are arguing about whether it is cruel to force Anna to appear on the show after she’s gone through so much heartbreak.
Josh’s scandal timeline began in May. That’s when the revelation came that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and one non-family minor. He then stepped down as executive director of FRC Action, which is part of the highly conservative Family Research Council. The fallout included the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting.
In July, Josh was found to be among those who used the Ashley Madison website, and he then confessed to cheating on Anna and being addicted to porn.
During a promo for the upcoming TLC show, Anna revealed her feelings about what her husband had done.
“It was heartbreaking to hear what had happened,” said Josh’s wife.
In addition to putting Anna in front of the camera, the Duggars’ new show features Jessa and Jill discussing their own feelings about Josh.
“I cried a lot of tears,” says Jill. “My first thoughts were for Anna.”
But the insider opined to ET that it’s a question of whether the sisters truly want to discuss their feelings or if they’re focused on the profit.
“Certain members of the family are more focused on ratings and a paycheck than actually focusing on the issues at hand. Some members of the Duggar family have] chosen not to participate in the special out of respect to the serious ordeal the family has been going through in the last months.”
TLC debuts Jill and Jessa: Counting On December 13.
Meanwhile, Honey Boo Boo’s parent, Mama June Shannon, has her own views on how TLC chooses which reality TV shows to air, and she’s not happy that the network cancelled her own family’s show while giving the Duggar family a second chance to make money, reported Design & Trend.
June is angry that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo never got such an opportunity for a comeback. And she’s not alone in protesting.
Two different groups on Facebook are trying to work against the Duggar family’s new Counting On show. One is seeking to organize a boycott, while the other is focused on contacting potential sponsors and advertisers to ask them not to back the show.
“Contacting Sponsors,” for example, uses #NoMoreDuggars as its mantra, and with more than 1,000 members, has succeeded in getting almost 900 advertisers who have agreed not to advertise the Duggar family show. That means that even if ratings are high for Counting On, problems getting corporations to advertise could result in hesitation on the part of TLC to extend the contract and even potentially decide to create a full reboot of 19 Kids And Counting.
But regardless of what happens with the show, Anna is left hurt by what has happened, particularly looking back at her excitement when she first met the Duggar family who she thought so resembled her own conservative clan, reported Fashion & Style.
Even before she met Josh, Anna had been impressed by what she saw on TV about her future husband as well as the Duggar family.
“As my family watched the video, I noticed how Joshua shared the importance of guarding his heart and waiting for someone who would really love him and wasn’t going to just get carried away with their emotions. I was so excited to see another family who was brought up so similar to the way our parents were training us, but never would I have dreamed what God had in store,” said Anna long before she knew that scandals and heartbreak were what she would find in the dark depths of the Duggar family.
Should Anna divorce Josh and seek to move far away from Duggarville? What do you think? Post your comments about Anna, Josh and the Duggar family below.
[Image via Duggar Family/Facebook]