While the network TLC is usually involved when things get uncomfortable and creepy behind the scenes of cable reality series — see: the sentence-awaiting Josh Duggar — A&E is the one currently facing heat over one of its newest reality shows, Adults Adopting Adults. Or should we say newest former reality shows, as the unscripted project was cancelled and subsequently pulled from the air completely in the aftermath of allegations made against its suspicion-sparking star Danny Huff.
With a basic synopsis that has already raised eyebrows among viewers across the country, Adults Adopting Adults focuses on couples who are aiming to permanently add to their families by taking legal responsibility of other adults for one reason or another. Regardless of how innocent or virtuously minded the act can be, the narrative involving series stars Danny and Christy Huff has inspired concern among audience members who believe the husband is or was harboring more illicit feelings for the woman they were attempting to adopt, a pregnant 20-year-old named Ileana.
While nothing outwardly criminal appears to have occurred, viewers realized something was amiss when A&E failed to debut the fourth episode of the series on Monday, February 21, without any notice or explanation. Then, on Tuesday morning, Adults Adopting Adults’ three previously aired installments had been scrubbed from the network’s website, with the eps also no longer available to purchase through Apple TV or YouTube.
A&E has yet to go public with any kind of justification for axing the new series, but Danny Huff himself gave a statement to The Daily Beast that acknowledged his understanding that the show was pulled from airing. However, he also refuted any accusations being flung his way regarding his feelings about Ileana, and seemed to deny that those claims were the main factor behind Adults Adopting Adults’ quick demise. In his words:
In the series, the Ohio-set Danny and Christy Huff were in the midst of plans to adopt the 20-year-old Ileana, a native of Austria. She and Danny Huff met in a Facebook group geared toward anyone interested in the topic of adult adoption, and the way things played out in the show’s first three episodes convinced a lot of fans that something was amiss. From his admissions about how much he loves hugging Ileana to the way he spends money on her to how discomforted Christy appears to be when he talks about Ileana, there are plenty of potential red flags that viewers picked up on.
Perhaps the biggest, however, was a moment where he freely admitted that prior attempts to adopt an 18-year-old female went awry specifically because he started developing feelings for this girl who was meant to be his future daughter. As well, Danny Huff was also accused of racism after one of his now-deleted TikTok videos resurfaced in which he accused Black people of keeping racism “alive and well” in the U.S. It’s unclear if this played any part in A&E execs’ decision to pull the show off the air.
This isn’t the first time in recent years that A&E has cancelled a reality series just a few weeks into its initial run, as it was back in 2015 when the network pulled the plug on the sexed-up swingers series Neighbors with Benefits. And it was in 2020 when the hit series Live PD was abruptly cancelled in the protest-filled aftermath of the discovery that the show’s production team captured the in-custody death of Javier Ambler in March 2019.
At this point, anyone interested in watching new or old episodes of Adults Adopting Adults will be largely out of luck, save for those who have saved episodes on their DVRs. While waiting to see if any future decisions are made with the project, with or without Huff involved, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other shows are on the horizon.
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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.