With all the stories circulating about Josh Duggar and how he reportedly molested five girls when he was younger — including several of his sisters, while some of them were sleeping — the network that airs his family’s show appears to be taking some action.
TLC has just pulled all airings of “19 Kids and Counting” from its lineup … TMZ has learned.
Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ, the fate of the show is uncertain, but there’s now so much heat in the wake of Josh Duggar’s molestation confession … the network had to make the decision.
We’re told they absolutely have not made a long-term decision, but it’s clearly a bad sign for the show.
For what it’s worth, that’s arguably a greater punishment than anything Josh Duggar has received for his crimes.
The family reportedly makes between $25,000-$40,000 per episode (probably much more, since that estimate was made more than five years ago). If the show is ultimately yanked, it would also take away the greatest megaphone they have for their beliefs.
It also wouldn’t be the first time prominent Christian reality TV stars have been punished.
In 2013, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was suspended from his show by A&E after he made public comments equating homosexuality and bestiality (in the name of Jesus, of course). Eventually, he returned to the show, though it’s not nearly as popular as it once was.
And last year, David and Jason Benham lost their HGTV show before it even aired when it was discovered that they were anti-gay bigots.
I don’t see how TLC continues to air 19 Kids and Counting, indirectly supporting a couple that defends their (alleged) child-molesting son. It’s not just about opinions anymore. It’s a pedophilia scandal that counters all those “family values” the show has always supposedly been about. TLC’s own website says:
With values rooted in their strong personal faith, Jim Bob and Michelle firmly believe that every child is a gift to be cherished.
Yeah… so does Josh, apparently.
Given that the parents allowed their son to fondle his sisters’ breasts and vaginas and didn’t tell authorities for at least a year, those aren’t exactly “values” worth bragging about.
As someone on Twitter noted, Jesus may forgive, but advertisers won’t.
***Update***: The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the show has been pulled from the lineup. Also, keep in mind that TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo after reports surfaced that mother June “Mama June” Shannon was dating a man convicted of molesting children.