Duggars reeling from Josh’s sex-abuse scandal

22 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Does Discovery/TLC have a child molester problem?.

The Family Research Council has accepted the resignation of Josh Duggar in the wake of the reality TV star’s apology for unspecified bad behavior as a young teen. Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Christian lobbying group, said in a statement Thursday that Duggar resigned because of information becoming public that he believed would “make it difficult for him to be effective.” As executive director of FRC Action, he served as a public face of the organization.

Josh Duggar, 27, is the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose long-running show on cable network TLC chronicles the daily struggles and triumphs of a conservative family in Arkansas. In the last day, a stream of increasingly upsetting details have been revealed about the eldest Duggar child in the popular TLC reality series, 19 Kids and Counting.

The alleged sexual abuse reportedly first came to light in 2006 when Harpo Communications contacted the Department of Human Services Hotline about the Duggar rumors, which Harpo had been informed of by an anonymous tipster ahead of the Duggars’ scheduled appearance on “Oprah.” This isn’t the first time Discovery Communications has had to deal with a reality star scandal. In Touch uncovered a police report that was filed regarding Duggar in 2006, in which he was accused of molesting multiple female minors in 2002 and 2003 when he himself was 14-15 years old. Discovery Communications—which includes channels like TLC, The Discovery Channel, OWN and Animal Planet— has had similar accusations affect several of its shows. TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” was shut down after photos surfaced that showed star Mama June spending time with an ex-boyfriend who served time for molesting her daughter. James (better known to TLC fans as Jim Bob) Duggar told police that in March 2002, he was tipped off by an alleged victim that Josh had been “sneaking into” a room at night and “had been touching… the breasts and vaginal areas.” According to In Touch, Jim Bob did not immediately go to law enforcement authorities after his son admitted to some of the molestation claims made against him.

Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns” was cancelled when star Will Hayden was arrested for aggravated rape of a minor, who family members have publicly identified as his own daughter. The apology came after In Touch published a document it said it obtained from Arkansas’ Springdale Police Department alleging multiple instances in which Duggar molested underage girls. In March 2003, Jim Bob first told church elders about Josh, and the teen was sent to a “Christian program in Little Rock, Arkansas” from March 17, 2003 to July 17 of the same year, according to the police report. A mother who appeared on TLC’s “Cheer Perfection” pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sexual assault and engaging a child in sexually explicit conduct.

A former “Cake Boss” cast member, star Buddy Valastro’s brother-in-law, is currently serving nine years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in New Jersey. The Duggar family has now acknowledged the allegations and confirmed that 12 years ago Josh “made some very bad mistakes” and “that dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.” Josh’s wife, Anna, say he had admitted his “very difficult past mistakes” to her and her parents before they married. It had all the makings for yet another special for TLC, a network that has only painted the family in Hallmark hues since it started filming the clan in 2008.

Public Relations Specialist Ryan McCormick cautioned that the situation could worsen for the network if it turns out someone at TLC was aware of the Duggar allegations before the show was put on the air. Among the many inflammatory things the Duggars have said about reproductive rights, for example, daughter Jessa compared the Holocaust to abortion on Instagram. Those behind the petition to get the Duggars off the air may finally get their wish, but it will be for reasons that even their biggest critics could not have—and would not have—wanted to imagine.

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