Duggar Family Friends Confirm: ‘Counting On’ Episodes Edited To Hide Some Guests

The Duggar family’s reality show, Counting On, just closed another season. Viewers watched closely for Josh Duggar, since photos appeared to show him in the wedding party at one of the two weddings featured this season, and since his return has been rumored for a while. On Saturday, a family friend confirmed why he wasn’t seen.

Viewers already believe Josh Duggar had appeared on camera at his sister Jinger’s wedding to Jeremy Vuolo, and had been mostly edited out — except for a sliver of his face seen peeking around one of his kids, briefly. Other shots of Josh were reportedly covered up with a “sun flare” effect.

Josh isn’t the only guest at Duggar weddings that viewers thought the family might be trying to hide, though. Viewers often comment on seeing members of the Bates family, but only in glimpses. If you don’t know the Bates, they’re another family who, like the Duggars, have a reality show about their large number of offspring. They’re also connected to the Duggar family through following the teachings of Bill Gothard. Patriarch Gil Bates sits on the board of Gothard’s IBLP, and Jim Bob Duggar began following Gothard when Josh was a small child. The Duggar family frequently promotes IBLP events.

However, some members of the Bates family have spoken out, saying they no longer follow Gothard’s teachings. Neither family mentioned whether this ideological divide, or the scandal when Josh Duggar’s police reports were released, or something else entirely affected their friendship, or television relationship.

However, now the Bates family has confirmed that they aren’t supposed to appear on the Duggar reality show — and the Duggar family isn’t supposed to appear on theirs.


Carlin Bates posted to Instagram Saturday, wishing Joy Duggar Forsyth a happy birthday — and sharing a photo of herself at Joy’s wedding, wearing the same dress Joy’s bridesmaids wore. Viewers were surprised — Carlin hadn’t been seen on the show. One viewer remarked upon this.

“I didn’t see you in the episode at all. I always look in the audience and receptions to see how many Bates I can find.”

The surprise was that the official Bates Family Instagram account posted a reply.

“Filming for two different networks does not allow us on their show or vice versa, so both families stay in the background when the other is filming or they edit around it, as in this case. But both families still have been able to attend each of the major events, which has been very special.”

The Bates family confirming that editing is erasing participants from Duggar weddings explains Josh’s appearance, or lack thereof, in weddings that he apparently attended or even joined. It will also answer a few questions for those who wondered if the relationship between the Duggar and Bates families had suffered a divide.

This may leave some confusion, since the Duggar and Bates families have been featured on reality tv together before. The video below is from Erin Bate’s wedding to Chad Paine, in November 2013. TLC also hosts photos of the Duggar and Bates family members together at Erin’s wedding, here.


However, at that time, the Bates and Duggar families had both been in TLC shows — in early 2015, just before the revelations about Josh, the Bates began their new series, Bringing Up Bates, on the UP network — so there’s no evidence the timing is anything but coincidental.

Still, the apparent confirmation that Josh Duggar and others are being edited out (perhaps imperfectly) after filming leaves viewers with new questions: is the footage of Josh being saved for a reappearance, and can they expect him to show up by accident again in the meantime?

[Featured Image by Jill Duggar Dillard/Instagram]

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