Some fans of the Duggar family aren’t happy about Jim Bob Duggar’s presence on TLC’s Counting On. The former 19 Kids and Counting star got plenty of screentime during Season 2’s second episode — he was shown cracking jokes and having an awkward sex talk with his 22-year-old daughter, Jinger, and her beau, 28-year-old Jeremy Vuolo — but should Jim Bob even be on TV?
Jim Bob Duggar’s Counting On cameo is upsetting fans because they believe that he and his wife, Michelle, are partially responsible for the sexual molestation that took place in the Duggar family’s household over a decade ago. According to the International Business Times, viewers are using the Counting On Facebook page to let TLC know that they are unhappy with the network’s decision to give Jim Bob a much larger role on this season of Counting On.
“Keep the parents off the show! They are the reason that Josh is in the shape that he is now. It was told that if the show came back on the parents would not be on there,” one fan wrote.
“I thought Counting On [was] about the girls and their lives and the parents weren’t allowed to be on the show. I have no desire to see Jim Bob and the wife!” another complained.
— In Touch Weekly (@intouchweekly) August 31, 2016
Josh Duggar committed over half a dozen acts of molestation over the course of a year when he was a teenager, and his victims included four of his younger sisters. However, Jim Bob and Michelle didn’t remove their son from their family’s crowded home until then-15-year-old Josh targeted his then-5-year-old sister. Legal experts told In Touch Weekly that the parents could have faced jail time for failing to report Josh’s behavior to the proper authorities and allowing him to have continued access to his victims. However, the statute of limitations ran out before Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar could be charged with any crimes.
“It is possible that investigators looking into this case could have cited the parents Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar with Arkansas Code 5-27-221 ‘Permitting Abuse of a Minor,” said Michael Johnson, a law professor and former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “Having once learned of the behavior, they recklessly allowed it to continue. This crime is a class D felony because the abuse consisted of sexual contact with a minor.”
The molestation that took place in the Duggar family household was not brought to the attention of authorities until a letter detailing Josh’s actions was discovered in a book that a Duggar family friend had loaned to someone else. In 2006, the Duggars were scheduled to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, but instead the family ended up being investigated by the police. Ahead of their appearance, someone faxed the incriminating letter to Winfrey’s studio. It was then forwarded to the the Department of Human Services hotline, and an investigation was opened. However, because three years had already passed since Josh’s last act of molestation occurred, no charges could be filed.
— Rebecka Schumann (@RebeckaSchumann) August 5, 2016
Many fans and critics of the Duggar family haven’t forgiven Jim Bob and Michelle for covering up Josh’s actions and failing to take action as his behavior continued to get worse, but TLC isn’t giving the parents the Josh treatment. Their toxic son hasn’t appeared on one episode of Counting On, but, as Us Weekly reports, Jim Bob was present when Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo talked about their “sex plans” during the most recent episode of the show. He didn’t get to give Jinger and Jeremy kissing lessons like he did with Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald back when they were courting, but he did let Jeremy know that he wants him to keep his hands off his daughter.
“I have a desire to save the physical for marriage,” Jeremy informed his future father-in-law.
“Good answer,” Jim Bob responded.
Jim Bob also attempted to have a say in the length of Jeremy and Jinger’s courtship.
“It will be interesting to see over the next few years where the Lord leads this relationship,” he said to the couple.
However, Jeremy Vuolo wasn’t having it. He told Jim Bob that he didn’t think that the Lord wanted him to wait a “few years” to marry Jinger, and he called Jim Bob out for previously approving a “fast track” courtship and engagement during one of their earlier conversations. Jim Bob used a joke to avoid an argument over the matter.
“Instead of 20 years, it might be more like five,” the Duggar family patriarch conceded.
Jim Bob continued to yuck it up by joking that he slaved away all day on the takeout lasagna that was served during a Duggar family dinner, and he asked Jeremy if he knew how to cook any Italian dishes. Jeremy answered in the negative, but Jinger Duggar revealed that he was lying. According to Jinger, she’s already seen Jeremy cook “good pasta.”
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar actually only appeared in the first 15 minutes of the latest episode of Counting On. However, it’s clear that this was still too much Jim Bob and Michelle for the Duggar family fans who don’t think that the parents deserve any more TLC paychecks.
[Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images]