TLC Cancels ’19 Kids & Counting’ over child molestation scandal

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

TLC has officially cancelled ’19 Kids & Counting’, after it emerged that homophobic TV star Josh Duggar had molested young girls.

An unsealed police report in May shed light on claims that Josh Duggar, one of the 19 children of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, molested girls as a teen.

Mr Duggar has since apologised for his “inexcusable” behaviour, and stepped down from his role as executive director of listed anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council. His parents later admitted they were aware of the incidents, but kept it hidden from the public for many years.

TV network TLC has previously shrugged off calls to drop the show due to the family’s anti-LGBT activism and links to a listed hate group – but following the abuse allegations it has finally pulled the plug on the show.

A statement today said:  “After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air.

“The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection.

They added: “TLC will work closely with both groups and with the Duggar family on a one-hour documentary that will include Jill and Jessa and other survivors and families that have been affected by abuse.

“TLC has been especially concerned for the victims in this situation, including the Duggar family, and it is our hope that this effort will help those in need learn where to turn for information and help. The documentary will be commercial free, and we anticipate it will air later this summer.”
Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee – who has displayed an endorsement from the Duggars on his website – previously released a statement defending the family, and claiming that child molestation is not “unforgivable”.

He said: “Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable’, but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable’.”

Prior to the allegations, the Duggars were prominent Republican supporters – and Josh Duggar has been photographed meeting many of the Presidential candidates.