On his talk show on Wednesday, Steve Harvey trashed Josh Duggar and the whole reality TV family, calling them “funky” and declaring that “touching children” was the bold hard line after which no one should be allowed to return to fame. The host and his visiting panel made a few waves with viewers, not all of whom took the harsh criticism — including a particularly strong blow about Michelle Duggar’s body after having 19 kids — well.
With Counting On returning to television (the first episode of the first full season aired Tuesday night) and Josh out of his rehab program, one question is on every viewer’s mind: will TLC dare to return him to the show along with his family?
TLC isn’t saying, and neither are the other Duggars. He wasn’t included in the first episode or any previews. The premise of the new show is a focus on the rest of the adult Duggar offspring, and how they are moving on with their lives. Still, the rest of the family speaks of forgiveness. Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar, is featured in Counting On, giving tearful speeches about betrayal and forgiveness. Could Josh Duggar hope for viewing audiences will show the same mercy?
On his own talk show, he and his celebrity panel — Judy Gold, Michelle Williams, and Kim Gravel — talked about the Duggar family, and while the words were cutting, the sentiment was clear: none of the panel could countenance allowing Josh Duggar, or his family, back on reality TV.
Be warned — the video is not safe for work, and may be offensive to some sensibilities. Specifically, it makes a particularly rude reference to Michelle Duggar’s genitals and includes speculation on the results of birthing 19 children. That said, if you want to see it for yourself, it’s here.
Harvey introduces the segment by describing the circumstances under which 19 Kids and Counting was pulled from the air, and asks his panel’s opinions.
“If you remember, the original show was canceled around the time a sex scandal broke in which brother Josh Duggar reportedly admitted to cheating on his wife and improperly touching young girls. Should this family be allowed back on tv?”
Kim Gravel responded, declaring that the Duggar family closet contains so many skeletons that “…when they open their mouths, bones gon’ fly out.”
Judy Gold opined next, suggesting that Michelle Duggar doesn’t say much other than “every child is a miracle,” before making a quip about “the real miracle,” which was a slur on the condition of a woman’s genitals after birthing a large number of children.
This didn’t go over too well with audiences. Whether out of any love for the Duggar family, or simply a stance against the crude and sexist nature of the joke, a number of followers piped up on social media to declare the line unacceptable, and the immediate audience response led her to declare, “Come on! You know that’s funny!”
— Cole Kelly (@MagillaGorillaz) March 16, 2016
The four joked a bit more about the Duggar family, and Gold spoke disparagingly of TV executives who “…can’t think of another show.”
On Harvey’s official Facebook page, there was similar feedback.
“Once you mess with some little kids, you and the rest of your funky family is out. All of y’all are out.”
Despite Steve Harvey’s take on Josh Duggar, TV By The Numbers reports that Tuesday’s premiere of Jill and Jessa: Counting On did reasonably well, landing a 0.6 rating and nearly 2 million viewers.
[Image via Steve Harvey]