19 Kids and Counting Pulled From Hulu Amidst Scandal

28 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

19 Kids and Counting Pulled From Hulu Amidst Scandal.

There’s only one thing more troubling than TLC pulling “19 Kids and Counting” off the air after allegations of child molestation against star Josh Duggar. It is said that the US network – owned by Discovery – are looking to axe the programme after the star’s recent controversy surrounding past allegations made against him.Just days after TLC announced that they were pulling 19 Kids and Counting from their current lineup, several advertisers have revealed that they’re following suit.

After years of mining ‘real America’ for conservative families to exhibit at the reality TV zoo, it’s time to stop exploiting and oversimplifying the heartland for entertainment. Last year, the network canceled “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” after it was reported that Mama June — mother to 9-year-old Alana Thompson, star of the show — was dating a convicted child molester.

News has confirmed the streaming site has pulled the embattled TLC series starring the Duggar family from its platform in the wake of Josh Duggar’s scandal. reruns have already been pulled by TLC, but materials still remain on the network’s site. He said in a statement to People magazine: “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.

Multiple advertisers, including Payless Shoes, Walgreens and Choice Hotels, have bailed on the show while the network has pulled reruns from its schedule. TLC, however, was originally a product of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and NASA, which in 1972 jointly founded “The Learning Channel.” In 1991, Discovery acquired the channel, and in 1998, rebranded it to the shorter and snappier “TLC.” The network’s tag line became “Life: Unscripted.” But at this point, TLC is not a network that seems particularly concerned about putting some good out into the world. Two months earlier, Discovery Channel (owned by TLC’s parent company, Discovery Communications) scrapped “Sons of Guns” when star Will Hayden was charged with the rape of a child.

I hurt others, including my family and close friends.” He continued: “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. Many have questioned why Josh Duggar was able to continue living in his family’s home and among his victims after a police official, church members and his family knew that he had molested young girls.

Here is a timeline of events detailing when Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, first became aware of the alleged sexual abuse and when the story emerged in the media, according to a 2006 police report recently released by InTouch. Reality TV has grappled with this since its inception: When you showcase real people, you get very real problems – especially on channels that feature unusual families or personalities. And yet here we are, in 2015, surprised that a TLC show about an incredibly conservative family with 19 home-schooled kids and Puritan ideas of sexual impurity might have had some dysfunction lurking under the surface. Given that all the children were home-schooled—and that the police reports obtained by InTouch indicate the abuse took place inside the Duggar house—Josh’s victims were almost certainly his younger sisters. Certain industry insiders caution against blaming the network or production companies for allowing these cast members on air in the first place, pointing out there’s only so much they can prevent.

Duggar runs on a platform that “rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.” July 2002: Duggar says his son Josh came to him in July and reported that he touched one of the victims while they were sleeping on the couch. Around the same time, the individual puts his hand beneath a siblings dress in the family’s laundry room, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar tell the police. Maybe we need to rethink what we’re encouraging by taking advantage of these people, and think more about who these people are that we’re giving platforms to.

Sure, 19 Kids…¸ Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty: these are shows that purported to be rooted in their championing of “traditional family values.” But the recent spate of controversies prove that over-aggressively capitalizing on anything—“traditional family values” included—brings with it a very real danger. Pinvidic, who helped develop “Jon & Kate Plus 8” for TLC, said all potential reality stars go through a vetting process, complete with psychological and medical tests. According to Extra, depending on the age of the apparent victims, they may have grounds for a civil suit, even if the statue of limitations on the criminal suit has expired.

A network will pass on a show if there are any signs of trouble. “Even the slightest twinge of issues, a show never makes it,” he said. “It has to be pretty squeaky clean. Background checks for reality show subjects, he cautions, are a lot more complicated than many people realize. “It’s quite a process, and I can see how someone might wonder, ‘How did they miss that?’” Myers said. “The reality is that, first, not all records are discoverable to investigators, no matter how hard they look. State laws get even more convoluted: In California, when investigators look into someone’s criminal history, they are only allowed to tell networks about convictions in the last seven years, but not arrests and police reports. But as quickly as the condemnations have rolled in against Josh Duggar—including advertisers stepping away from the program and a lot of spilled (Internet) ink—a rising tide of support followed suit.

The family is in Chicago for a scheduled interview with Oprah Winfrey and cannot speak to police until they return on Dec. 11, according to the report. Even if TLC was given a tip about Josh Duggar — such as when Oprah Winfrey reportedly canceled an episode with the family after her show received an e-mail about the molestation accusations, which triggered an Arkansas police investigation in 2006 — police may not give that information to background investigators. “If a person self-discloses they were investigated, arrested, or had other similar contacts with the police that never resulted in a court appearance, one can make an effort to see if the matter is discoverable through the police department,” Myers said. “Invariably, candidates don’t like to give us those things.” Casting directors, meanwhile, feel like they’ve seen every trick in the book. “If people want to be on TV bad enough, they will manage to suppress their secrets,” said Kristi Russell, president of Metal Flowers Media. Russell added that the pressure has increased on some smaller production companies forced to shell out money for initial background checks – in earlier years of reality TV, the network would foot the bill.

And that means doing something that multinational corporations are in the habit of avoiding like the plague, as much as possible: making a moral judgment. If there was even remotely talk of this, the show would have never gone on the air,” Pinvidic said. “It’s a big show, but it makes a tiny percentage of overall Discovery and TLC’s [revenue]. It has become common practice for the public at large to call for institutions to render judgment on employees caught in the act of some sort of wrongdoing.

Police interview several alleged victims and the person believed to be the perpetrator. 2007: While the mainstream press remains largely unaware of the sexual abuse allegations, online message boards are a flurry with allegations about the Josh Duggar, according to Gawker. On one hand there is the suspicion of public institutions and sex education, which created not just the perfect environment for clandestine sexual abuse among several home-schooled children, but a reflexive impulse to hide said abuse from the authorities. The question of moral responsibility is too little, too late; TLC’s moral responsibility, if it has any, would have dictated that they never greenlight the show. We’re perfectly at peace with shining a spotlight on a family that belongs to a religion that, in all reports since the molestation reveal, is party to practices that we should as a larger society be completely alarmed by.

But it’s lost on most of us that, just weeks before, we had been bemused by this organization, and had written off such practices as bizarre religious curios as they played out on our TVs. That while we’re game and hoping to put a lens on, and arguably exploit, their down-home, Americana ways that we’re not going to stumble upon other, less charming behaviors that may go hand-in-hand with that? Are we only acting shocked when those behaviors surface because we don’t want to admit that we, the television-viewing audience, might be complicit in it? A source even tells People that a spin-off of 19 Kids… is in the works at TLC, presumably to maintain the franchise should the network be forced to officially pull the plug on the series as audience and advertiser backlash builds to a fever pitch. They’re not to be grouped with—but certainly can be associated with—those who came to the defense of Phil Robertson as he used the public megaphone he’s been given to spew hate speech against the gay community.

But reality TV, for all of the negative things it has come to represent and reflect (especially right now), actually started as a noble cultural pursuit. As hard as it may be to imagine, it’s served as the finest example of the power of television to confront culture, affect culture, and ultimately change culture by portraying the diverse scope of human experience. It was a way for people all over the country, and eventually the world, to access and relate to anyone whose experiences were distantly removed from their own—or maybe even scared or confused them.

The Real World depicted gay culture, race relations, AIDS, alcoholism, and numerous other issues in a way that wasn’t just entertaining, but profound. You can draw a direct line from that to the recent Keeping Up With the Kardashians: About Bruce specials and E!’s upcoming series documenting Bruce Jenner’s transition to living life as a woman.

Of course, that moment was born after years of decrying the rise of the Kardashians as influencers in our culture, once again proving our complicated relationship with reality TV and its stars. My own hypocrisy isn’t lost on me now that I’m advocating for an end to those same series, which purported to celebrate “real America” but in turn ended up exploiting a segment of our culture in glaring and, ultimately, disturbing ways.

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