It’s been a long few weeks for the Duggar clan as the former 19 Kids and Counting co-stars have seen their brother or son arrested on child pornography charges. The sequel to that series Counting On was also cancelled in the aftermath, leaving some of the show’s stars with more limited income streams. Now matriarch and patriarch Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have finally broken their silence in the aftermath.
Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a frank response to the end of the Duggars’ reality run on television, you are going to be very disappointed. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar remained very optimistic (and used a lot of exclamation points) in their statement to the public, beginning with the following comment (via the family’s site):
It is hard to believe that more than 17 years have passed since we were first contacted by a production company wanting to do a one-hour documentary about the logistics of raising 14 children. Our family has grown (and grown up!) before our eyes and on national television, and the journey has been miraculous—following God is an exciting adventure!
Nearly two decades have passed since the Duggar clan first came to TLC fame. At the time, Jim Bob, Michelle and their children were the focus of the series in a set of shows with the ...And Counting moniker as they continued to add to their brood. However, after a molestation report was revealed related to Josh Duggar in his youth, it rocked the family to the core. Still, some of the clan members were able to pick up the pieces and remain popular on TLC via Counting On, which followed the family via the lens of some of the siblings.
Counting On made it through 11 seasons on TLC, but after Josh Duggar’s arrest on one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography, there were rumors the show would get cancelled. Those rumors turned out to be true and TLC finally said goodbye to the series last week.
Though they do briefly touch on "difficult and painful moments," Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar say they are only looking forward and not looking back. They thanked the crew that stuck with them over the years and noted:
Since we began filming so long ago, we’ve had the amazing honor to share our lives, our faith, and our story with you—including some of the most difficult and painful moments our family has ever faced. We are full of deep gratitude for the love shown to us and the prayers of so many who have sustained us both now and through the years. We look forward to all the new adventures and endeavors that may come our way, and with so many grown children and wonderful grandchildren, we know our love will only continue to multiply!
So far, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have not officially commented on Josh Duggar's arrest, though Jim Bob did try at the bail hearing to become the host for Josh Duggar as he awaited trial. Instead, he was sent to a third-party home in Elkins, Arkansas with a reported connection to his wife Anna Duggar. While TLC has not officially commented that the arrest impacted Counting On, the timing fits. TLC's statement itself also mentioned, "TLC feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately," so it does seem that one situation impacted the other.
Meanwhile, regarding the rest of the clan, most have not broken their silence on the cancellation of the reality series. One exception to that would be Jinger Duggar, who noted at the time of the show getting cancelled that she and her husband "wholeheartedly agree" with the network's decision. Josh Duggar was expected to go on trial this month, though his lawyers recently pushed to delay that court date.