19 Kids and Counting Canceled by TLC After Josh Duggar Molestation Scandal

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

19 Kids and Counting Canceled by TLC in Wake of Josh Duggar Molestation Scandal.

Michelle Duggar, left, is surrounded by her children and husband Jim Bob, second from left, after the birth of her 17th child in Rogers, Ark. TLC was forced to pull the plug on 19 Kids following public pressure that erupted when a resurfaced police report from 2006 revealed that one of the show’s stars, Josh Duggar, had been investigated for child molestation when he was a teen.

The AP reports that TLC is officially canceling “19 Kids and Counting” in the wake of revelations that Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the Duggar clan, was accused of multiple accounts of underage sexual abuse back in 2004.After weeks in limbo stemming from revelations of sexual misconduct by one of its stars, the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting” is officially dead. His sisters Jill Dillard, 24, and Jessa Seewald, 22, later came forward as two of the six victims, insisting they had already “moved on” and forgiven their brother when the news broke. The Associated Press reported the news Thursday morning, nearly two months after TLC first pulled all episodes of the show off the air as the molestation allegations emerged. “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” reads a statement on the show’s website from May, when the show was initially taken off the air.

The show about Christian conservative couple Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their many offspring aired for ten often-controversial seasons, before being pulled from the air in May after news of the allegations against Josh surfaced. TLC also announced its plans to initiate an ongoing campaign raising awareness about childhood sexual abuse, beginning with an hourlong documentary that is scheduled to air in August. However, the sisters insisted in an interview with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly that “Josh was a boy, a young boy in puberty anf a little too curious about girls, and that got him into some trouble. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh, 27, said in his statement to PEOPLE released May 21. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation,” Josh continued. “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.” However, as the reports reveal, Josh’s three-month stay in a treatment program at the age of 14 in Little Rock, Arkansas, was not actually run by a certified counselor but by a family friend of the Duggars who was in the home remodeling business.

Josh was only put through “hard physical work.” In their own joint statement, Michelle, 48, and Jim Bob, 49, said that the incidents of alleged molestation – which were reported to have occurred in 2002 and 2003 – brought the family closer together. “Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. Josh Duggar apologized for unspecified actions on a Facebook post and resigned from the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group, where he had worked as a lobbyist. Last October, TLC yanked its reality series about child beauty-pageant contestant Honey Boo Boo and her Georgia family after the completion of filming an upcoming season of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” While the network didn’t identify a reason for the cancellation, it came after published reports that the family matriarch, June Shannon, was dating a convicted child molester.

TLC is in the midst of repositioning itself as “a brand with purpose,” said Kaplan, since 1997 an executive with parent Discovery Communications who took over TLC a year ago.

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