A video congratulating Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth on the arrival of their first child may be evidence that some Counting On scenes are faked. According to the Duggar Family News: Life Is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page, what viewers saw go down in the Counting On episode “Joy & Austin’s Baby” differs from one Duggar husband’s account of where he was and what he was doing when Joy-Anna gave birth.
On Friday, the Duggar Family News Facebook page shared a post about the birth of Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth’s son Gideon. The baby boy’s arrival is the focus of a two-part Counting On episode that was recently made available online. As reported by the International Business Times, the 20-minute special includes a few short scenes of Joy-Anna in labor. There’s also footage of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s massive family gathered at their spacious Tontitown, Arkansas, house. The group is shown receiving occasional updates on how Joy-Anna’s labor is progressing and reacting to the news that Gideon Forsyth has arrived. Jessa Duggar never makes an appearance, but her husband Ben Seewald is there with the couple’s two young sons.
“More proof of a fake reality show. The living room scene where the Duggar kids wait to hear about Joy’s baby being born was recreated after the fact,” Duggar Family News writes. “Remember the video below where Ben claims to have heard about the baby being born when he got home from work?”
The video in question was shared on the Duggar family’s YouTube page a few days after Joy-Anna gave birth to Gideon. In it, Ben Seewald talks about the moment he learned that his nephew had arrived. His account doesn’t match what viewers saw happen on the Counting On episode.
“I was coming back from work. I came in the door, and Jessa said, ‘Joy had her baby,'” Ben recalls.
According to the Duggar husband, Jessa then asked him to guess the baby’s sex and weight. However, in the Counting On special, Ben and Jessa have no such exchange. Instead, Ben is shown sitting on the couch at the Duggars’ house when Jim Bob phones home to let everyone know that Joy-Anna and Austin’s baby has arrived. Ben and his oldest son Spurgeon can also be seen celebrating with the rest of the family when John David reveals the baby’s sex by firing a blue confetti cannon. Jessa Duggar’s absence is never explained.
This isn’t the first time the Duggars have been accused of faking scenes for their reality series. According to Radar Online, a man who knew a member of the Counting On production team said that he was asked to pretend that he was interested in purchasing a car from Jinger Duggar for a 2016 episode of the show. An insider also alleged that the Duggars staged a charity scene for a 2015 episode of 19 Kids and Counting. As reported by OK! Magazine, Josiah Duggar has even admitted that he and his family members are sometimes asked to reshoot scenes for the show.
Viewers who want to watch Joy-Anna Duggar’s birth episode and make their own call on whether any scenes were staged can check it out by downloading the TLC Go app or using their cable TV provider login on the Counting On website. According to TV Guide, the episode will also air March 19 at 10:07 p.m. ET on TLC.