TLC Cancels ’19 Kids & Counting’ After Molestation Scandal
19 Kids & Counting has officially been canceled, TLC announced in a statement Thursday.
TLC Cancels ’19 Kids & Counting’
TLC made the decision to cancel the show about the Duggar family after allegations about oldest son Josh Duggar molesting young girls as a teenager surfaced earlier this year. Initially the network opted only to suspend the show.
“After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting,” TLC said in a statement. “The show will no longer appear on the air.”
TLC’s statement went on to announce an hourlong documentary that the network will be airing to raise awareness for child sexual abuse. The network is collaborating with two child-protection organizations for the special that will also involve Jill and Jessa Duggar, who were two of their brother’s victims.
“Over these past weeks, TLC has consulted regularly with leading victims’ rights and advocacy organizations in the U.S., including RAINN and Darkness to Light, to discuss how to use this moment to address the issue and make a positive impact,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is not an isolated issue; it affects many children and families around the world. To that end, we are partnering with both organizations on a multi-platform campaign to raise awareness and educate parents and families about the issue.”
“In the first phase of this initiative, 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,” the statement went on. “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.”
The Duggars released their own statement on the family website. After sharing their thanks for the opportunity to share their faith and their lives with the world, the family addressed Josh’s scandal and how it affected their family.
“With God’s grace and help Josh, our daughters and our entire family overcame a terrible situation, found healing and a way forward. We are so pleased with the wonderful adults they have all become,” the post said. “It is our prayer that the painful situation our family went through many years ago can point people toward faith in God and help others who also have lived through similar dark situations to find help, hope and healing, as well.”
The documentary on child sexual abuse will air on TLC next month.