After dropping the “Learning” part of its name, the network TLC turned into a place where offbeat reality shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Little People, Big World became the norm, and an increased focus on giant families took over the schedule. But in the past year, the network has been more known for controversy than anything else, and the latest allegations that 19 Kids and Counting offspring Josh Duggar molested a handful of underage girls in the past has forced TLC to pull the hit reality series off the air.
At this point, it isn’t clear when or if TLC will decide to bring 19 Kids and Counting back to audiences, as they’re likely hoping all the Duggar-related media coverage will die down before they figure things out. The network has been the subject of public outcries over the last couple of days, and though many expected the series to get pulled from the schedule based solely on the reprehensible actions of the then-teenaged Josh Duggar, it seems like part of their decision was also based on the backlash itself.
People have been chiding the network for possibly ignoring the years-old rumors about troubles in the highly religious Duggars’ past, and according to TMZ, Honey Boo Boo matriarch Mama June raised some hell over 19 Kids not getting pulled, even threatening a lawsuit. Her own show was yanked from TLC back in October after it was proven she was secretly in a relationship with her convicted child molester former ex-boyfriend, and she obviously saw parallels between her situation and this one.
For an uncomfortable bit of background info, Josh Duggar has publicly admitted that in 2002-2003, when he was 14 years old, he fondled the genitals of female minors, some while sleeping and some while awake. A police report indicates that four of Josh’s sisters were among the victims. Though he allegedly confessed his wrongdoing to patriarch Jim Bob at the time, they held off on reporting it to authorities and put Josh through a Christian treatment program as a way of counseling, although even that might not be entirely true. When the family finally did bring law enforcement into it, they apparently talked to Arkansas state trooper Jim Hutchens, a family friend, whose only response was reportedly giving Josh a good talking to. (According to InTouch, Hutchens is currently serving over 50 years in prison on child pornography charges.)
Rumors of Josh’s actions circulated, eventually leading Oprah Winfrey to cancel an appearance by the Duggars in 2006. But because the statute of limitations had expired, police couldn’t pursue legal action against Josh. And after years of Internet communities trying to raise awareness of the Duggars’ dark past, InTouch finally got it all out there by releasing the damning police report.
While initially quiet about it, TLC released the following statement following their decision to pull 19 Kids and Counting.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.