19 Kids and Counting is possibly returning to TLC, and the network might have hell to pay for trying to sneak the controversial Duggar family back on TV. The Duggars’ return hasn’t been officially announced yet, but there’s mounting evidence that TLC is preparing to surprise feverish fans of the family with a 19 Kids and Counting revival. Unfortunately for The Learning Channel, members of the anti-Duggar camp have already become wise to what’s going on, and the network is starting to feel the wrath of those who don’t feel that the Duggars deserve a platform to promote their religious views.
The Inquisitr previously reported on three pieces of evidence that indicate that 19 Kids and Counting is returning to TV: TLCme contributor Danni Starr recently conducted an interview with a few male members of the Duggar family; a group of Duggar girls were spotted filming at a thrift store; and the manager of a lumberyard reported that John David and Jana Duggar were accompanied by a TLC camera crew when they visited his business last month. The adult Duggar twins were there to purchase materials to build a tree house, and this construction project seems exactly like the type of thing that the Duggar family would film for 19 Kids and Counting when there were no pregnancies, courtships, or weddings to fill the small amount of time left in an episode after TLC added its usual filler footage from past episodes.
— Inquisitr Showbiz (@IQShowbiz) January 24, 2016
The news about the possible return of 19 Kids and Counting is slowly starting to spread across the web, and so far the response to TLC rekindling its relationship with the Duggar family has not been positive.
“It looks like it didn’t take TLC all too long to get over the whole about Josh Duggar being a lying, hypocritical, child molesting adulterer thing! Because guess what? They’re bringing the Duggar clan back for yet another season of ’19 Kids and Counting!'” the Frisky writes.
“Naturally, this will give the family the opportunity to again hold themselves up as paragons of Christian wholesomeness and virtue, despite having covered up their son’s propensity for child molestation.”
Because of the incestuous child molestation that took place in the Duggar family’s home and Josh Duggar’s admission that he cheated on his wife, the New Civil Right Movement argues that 19 Kids and Counting no longer meets the “family show” standard set by the Duggars’ “religious right” fans who so often praised Michelle and Jim Bob’s unconventional child “training” methods. Meanwhile, the Joe.My.God blog has responded to the possible return of 19 Kids and Counting by reminding readers about the Duggar family’s anti-LGBT views.
“It’s apparent that TLC is uninterested in the Duggar family’s vicious crusade of lies against LGBT Americans.”
Over on the Duggar Family’s official Facebook page, Duggar fans let Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar know how much they miss 19 Kids and Counting on a daily basis. Many of these fans say that they don’t understand why the show simply didn’t go on without Josh Duggar — after all, he’s the only member of the family who did the cheating and molesting. However, critics of the Duggars have pointed out time and time again that Josh isn’t the only problem.
— Inquisitr Showbiz (@IQShowbiz) January 23, 2016
According to E! News, TLC announced the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting in mid-July, four months after police reports surfaced that included graphic details of how Josh sexually molested a babysitter and four of his younger sisters as a teenager. One of his victims was just five years old.
As E! News pointed out, many critics of the Duggars wondered what took TLC so long to pull the plug on the show. However, fans of the Duggar family wondered why TLC simply didn’t cut Josh from 19 Kids and Counting. The decision to scrap the entire show might be an indication that TLC realized that Josh wasn’t the only member of the family to blame for the sexual molestation that the Duggar daughters endured under their own roof—as the Inquisitr previously reported, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar failed to take action when the molestation first started, so Josh continued to molest his siblings. His parents didn’t get really serious about stopping him until he targeted his five-year-old sister.
TLC didn’t focus much on Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar in the Jill & Jessa: Counting On specials that aired in December, and their absence from the three-part series could be another indication that the network somewhat agrees with the critics who have argued that the parents shouldn’t be on TV. However, money talks, and E! News reports that 19 Kids and Counting was TLC’s most-watched show four years in a row.
Before the sexual molestation story broke, there were already calls to cancel 19 Kids and Counting. According to a November 2014 report by the Advocate, there was a massive amount of support for a Change.org petition asking TLC to take the show off the air. The petition was in response to a robocall that Michelle Duggar recorded in opposition to a Fayetteville, Arkansas, anti-discrimination ordinance that would protect members of the LGBT community. Michelle suggested that child molesters might start molesting little girls in bathrooms if the ordinance passed. The petition to cancel 19 Kids and Counting almost reached 200,000 signatures, but it took a non-hypothetical instance of child molestation under the Duggars’ own roof to get their family’s show off the air.
The Duggars haven’t just upset the LGBT community — they’ve also drawn the ire of women, pro-choice advocates, Catholics, and atheists. Michelle Duggar has angered women by saying that a wife should be “joyfully available” for her husband by having sex with him whenever he feels like it, no matter how miserable and exhausted she is. Jim Bob Duggar has rankled pro-choice advocates by saying that he believes that rape victims should be forced to carry their rapists’ babies, and Jessa Duggar has caused controversy by comparing abortion to the Holocaust and blaming the Holocaust on a belief in evolution.
Jessa’s husband, Ben Seewald, has upset Catholics by expressing his belief that they are making “deadly errors” by worshiping the way that they do. Ben also accused Catholics of persecuting people in Honduras, and he once enlisted the help of a researcher at the Institute for Creation Research to explain why atheists don’t exist.
It’s possible that TLC and the Duggars are currently filming another series of specials like Jill & Jessa: Counting On, not a new season of 19 Kids and Counting. However, no matter how the show is titled or which family members appear on it, one thing is clear: Just like Josh, the Duggars are learning that they can get away with doing some pretty horrible things if they respond to every scandal by talking about forgiveness and their faith.
[Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images]