Photo Credit: TLC
UPDATE: May 22 at 7 p.m.: Discovery Communications, which owns TLC, released a statement to the media. According to Deadline, "Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids And Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time."
UPDATE: May 22 at 2:30 p.m.: The Hollywood Reporter wrote that as of Friday afternoon, 19 Kids and Counting no longer appears on TLC's schedule. The network has not released an official comment, instead tweeting a link to People's article, with statements from the Duggar family.
The following post was published on May 22, 2015, at 12 p.m.
The Duggar family skeletons are out coming of the closet, which has led to TLC blacklisting the show and removing it from the company's current advertising schedule, according to TMZ.
The eldest Duggar child, Josh, is not only facing some seriously disturbing molestation accusations, but he’s now owning up to them. The 27-year-old father of three and one on the way has been exposed of molesting five underage girls when he was a teenager.
In Touch magazine recently released reporting of sexual abuse allegations against Josh Duggar. According to a police report, the 27-year-old father of three molested five underage girls during his teen years. On Tuesday, Josh, his wife Anna and parents Jim Bob and Michelle all released statements on the matter to People magazine and then posted those to social media.
Photo Credit: Davidlovespriscilla.com
Josh shared on Facebook, “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 sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
In 2005, Josh reportedly revealed to his parents that he had been sexually inappropriate with a number of underage girls. There are reports claiming that one or more of those girls were Josh’s younger sisters, although it’s not been confirmed.
Josh’s wife, Anna, had known about her husband’s teenage faults and shared on Facebook, “I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement or after we married – it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him. 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 every difficult past mistakes."
"At that point and over the next two years, Josh shared how the counseling he received changed his life as he continued to do what he was taught. And when you, our sweet fans, first met me when Josh asked me to marry him… I was able to say, ‘Yes’ knowing 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. I want to say thank you to those who took time over a decade ago to help Josh in a time of crisis. Your investment changed his life from going down the wrong path to doing what is right. If it weren’t for your help I would not be here as his wife – celebrating 6 ½ years of marriage to a man who knows how to be a gentleman and treat a girl right. Thank you to all of you who tirelessly work with children in crisis, you are changing lives and I am forever grateful to you.”
Finally, the patriarch and matriarch of the Duggar family wrote to their fans, “ 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 struggled everyday. 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.”
Even though often under criticism for their devout Christian practices including supervised courtship and strict wardrobe guidelines like long skirts and long hair for the girls (the Duggar boys are held to less restrictive outfits), the Duggar family has successfully kept this swept under the rug for nearly 10 years as they found television success in their hit TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting.
Photo Credit: Getty
The Duggar’s former network family from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is now saying they were unfairly cut from the network after similar molestation allegations were brought up against Mama June’s past boyfriend, who had done time for molesting daughter Anna. Mama June was rumored to be romantically involved with him upon his release from prison and consequently, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was cancelled.
“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." said Honey Boo Boo’s mom.
June told TMZ that TLC cannot justify keeping the Duggar family on air. She also added that due to the abrupt cancellation of her show, she's out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and if the Duggars do stay on air, she'll sue the network for what she believes is blatantly unfair and inconsistent treatment.
The family and the police authorities involved are not expected to make any further comments due to dealing with underage children.
Now with the show pulled from schedule, it could be a mere waiting game before it's taken off the network altogether.