’19 Kids and Counting’ Loses Advertisers Following Josh Duggar Scandal

27 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

’19 Kids and Counting’ and Josh Duggar molestation scandal: TLC pulls episodes, advertisers flee amid calls for cancellation.

Josh Duggar, of the TLC reality show, “19 Kids and Counting,” is at the center of a scandal involving allegations that he molested underage girls when he was a teenager. Between Bill Cosby, Jian Ghomeshi, Rolf Harris, Jimmy Savile, Terry Richardson, Woody Allen, like half the British government or something, and, most recently, American schlock TV star Josh Duggar, one might say that it has been a rough couple of years for famous men accused of sexual impropriety.Just days before reports resurfaced alleging that her husband molested five girls 12 years ago, Anna Duggar shared a mysterious message about forgiveness on social media.

The aspiring country singer, 28, also shared the same message via Twitter, with a photo featuring a dirt path surrounded by lush green land and a break in storm clouds. The claims about Josh Duggar first came to light on May 21, when In Touch Weekly Magazine disclosed the results of a police report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. While Amy was more poetic about the crisis affecting her family, her boyfriend Dillon King directly addressed the scandal that same day. “I’m so thankful for this beautiful girl in my life, praying for the Duggar family in this hard time…” he wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of Amy. “Thank you Jesus Amy wasn’t involved in the situation. According to information in the police report, the In Touch story says, Josh Duggar, who’s now 27, was years ago “investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors.

Others saw their victims come forward only to be laughed off and dismissed by the culture at large – victims forced to watch the world fawn over their abusers while the statute of limitations achingly slipped away. Tony worked his way through the Duggar story, wondering whether it was “reasonable” that Duggar should be “driven from his job,” while his on-the-air companions attempted to persuade him that indeed it was because the FRC is a conservative lobbying organization. None except for Ghomeshi, Harris and perhaps Cosby have experienced significant damage to their careers, and even those who are facing criminal charges got to spend the previous years doing exactly as they pleased, (allegedly) flush with the illusion of untouchability, leveraging their fame and power while freely victimising others for sport and pleasure. In a statement issued exclusively to PEOPLE in the aftermath, Anna said: “I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn’t know why he was sharing it. Just because we are Christians doesn’t make us perfect, it just makes us forgiven.” Like Amy, her cousin Josh, aunt Michelle Duggar, uncle Jim Bob Duggar, and pregnant cousin-in-law Anna Duggar called out their flaws and imperfections while addressing the molestation allegations last Thursday.

Kornheiser mentioned that he believed that Duggar, now a 27-year-old father of three with another on the way, and his family had had “counseling,” which wasn’t exactly spot-on. “If you hold out the reasonable possibility that something therapeutic can change your life, then everyone should have the opportunity to be changed for the better, right?” Kornheiser is being pummeled by internet enthusiasts, and probably rightly so, but he most likely was reacting to the angry chorus of voices rather than condoning something abhorrent. The risk of doing that in the moment is that, occasionally, the angry mob has a good point and pushing back against it without having all the information can change the focus to you. As confirmed to Us last Thursday, the court ordered for all records pertaining to the investigation to be expunged. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. One Duggar family in-law to face the controversy head-on was Jessa’s father-in-law Michael Seewald, who blogged about the scandal in detail. “The victims of Josh’s actions should not be lost in all of this,” Ben Seewald’s father wrote on Sunday. “Sadly, this type of thing is all too common.

And yet, as is typical, especially in insular, patriarchal religious communities, Josh’s life rolled on with little perceptible disruption – he’s now married with four children of his own, two of whom are girls, and (until he resigned this week) he was executive director of the political arm of the Family Research Council, a rightwing hate group that specialises in spreading hysteria about transgender people assaulting your children in public toilets. Josh has already been defended by rightwing Christians as high-profile as presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, who called the sexual assault of five children a “mistake” made by a “good [person]”. One pastor’s wife who also subscribes to the Duggars’ “Quiverfull” movement (which, apparently, is where you pretend your nutsack is a quiver and your penis is a stout longbow and your wife is a pile of hay or rags that you shoot sperm arrows into), argued that Josh was just “playing doctor” and deserves to be “left alone to live a good life”.

It strains imagination to wonder where these supposed pillars of morality actually draw the line. (A transgender person going to the bathroom, I guess.) What’s frightening is that we’re so accustomed to giving powerful, famous men the benefit of the doubt that, on a cultural level, we treat men’s reputations with the same reverence as victims’ safety. “Sure, it’s important to protect the vulnerable and sexually traumatised or whatever, but what about that nice man’s TV show? You can’t just take away a man’s stuff!” The result is a system in which victims often find themselves on trial in their own rape proceedings; a culture in which silence is incentivised and speaking out is often punished; a world in which we have ample vocabulary for comforting the accused (“I’m waiting to hear all the facts,” “we can’t jump to conclusions,” “who can even make sense of consent these days?”) but precious little for victims (when’s the last time you heard a simple, unqualified “I believe you” outside of the feminist blogosphere?).

So, to any of Josh Duggar’s alleged victims, to anyone raised in a purity culture that blamed and shamed you for your own victimisation, to anyone whose trauma has been sidelined while your abuser’s feelings are placed centre-stage, to anyone thinking of speaking up and anyone who feels like they can’t: I believe you. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving.

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