19 Kids and Counting has been pulled from its schedule by TLC. The network has not yet commented on whether the show is canceled, but there have been many developments over the last few days that may well have contributed to the decision to pull the show.
19 Kids and Counting became the topic of hot conversation when it came to light that "cast member" Josh Duggar admitted to having molested as many as five girls when he was 14 years old himself. According to reports, some of these girls were his own sisters.
For days after the news broke, TLC made no comment about the matter. But they did go ahead with a previously-planned marathon of 19 Kids and Counting that featured Josh Duggar.
Then came the news that Mama June, formerly of TLC's show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, had spoken to TMZ about possibly suing her former network. Her show was canceled amid a molestation rumor scandal.
Josh Duggar admitted to molesting his younger sisters and TLC still aired a marathon of 19 Kids and Counting... REALLY?#CancelTheDuggars
— Janie Ragsdale (@Janie_Elainey) May 22, 2015
"I read that the Duggar family said, this happening with their son brought them closer to God and each other. So they're saying it's ok to have family touch time? Hell no."
Josh Duggar released a statement about the rumors:
"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."
"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption."
Josh Duggar resigned from his position at the Family Research Council as a result of the news of the molestations surfacing.
"It’s time for TLC to get out of the Duggar business" http://t.co/0h3cxnl2XO
— TIME.com (@TIME) May 22, 2015
The patriarch and matriarch of the 19 Kids and Counting clan, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, issued a statement supporting their son.
"Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before."
"Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything."
Josh Duggar's wife Anna, who is also seen on the 19 Kids and Counting show, also stood by her husband in a statement:
"I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock," she says. "When my family and I first visited the Duggar home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh, he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was – even very difficult past mistakes."
"He continued to do what he was taught. [I know] who Josh really is – someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right."
Real classy @TLC, airing a 19 Kids and Counting marathon tonight. Nice work.
— roxane gay (@rgay) May 22, 2015