TLC has decided to cancel reality show 19 Kids and Counting following Josh Duggar scandal.
The channel is not moving forward with an 11th season of the reality show featuring Duggar family.
The show “will no longer appear on the air,” the network told The Associated Press on July 16.
“We spent the past month and a half in thoughtful consideration about what is the best way forward here,” said Marjorie Kaplan, group president of TLC, Animal Planet and Velocity networks.
In a move to redirect the attention and public outcry, TLC also announced it has teamed with two prominent child-protection organizations for an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about child abuse.
The multi-platform initiative will begin with a one-hour, commercial-free documentary likely airing in late August, the network said. It will include the participation of Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of the sisters Josh Duggar touched inappropriately, as well as other survivors and families affected by such abuse.
Since 2008, 19 Kids and Counting – TLC’s most watched, averaging 3.2 million viewers – had chronicled the family life of Arkansas couple Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their children, now numbering 19. It was pulled from the network in May when reports surfaced that 27-year-old Josh Duggar, the oldest child, had abused four of his sisters and a baby sitter a dozen years earlier, when he was a teenager. He has never been arrested or charged in connection with the molestations.
Josh Duggar apologized for unspecified actions on a Facebook post and resigned from the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group, where he had worked as a lobbyist.
19 Kids and Counting had ended its 10th season when the scandal broke.
TLC has pulled long running reality show 19 Kids and Counting following revelations of alleged abuse by Josh Duggar.
The series 19 Kids and Counting on TLC stars a conservative Christian couple and their 19 children.
It has been alleged that the eldest son Josh Duggar molested five underage girls as a teenager.
Josh Duggar, 27, has not admitted to the abuse but has apologized for his behavior, saying he acted “inexcusably”.
He wrote in a statement on Facebook on May 21: “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.”
TLC network also said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation”.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” the statement said.
Arkansas police said on May 22 they had received a court order to destroy records of a nearly decade-old investigation into Josh Duggar. No charges were filed against him.
Police concluded the statute of limitations had passed, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.
On May 21, Josh Duggar resigned his role with a prominent conservative Christian group amid reports about the allegations.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who has been supported by Josh Duggar’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, defended the family on his Facebook page on May 22, saying: “Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, <<inexcusable>>, but that doesn’t mean <<unforgivable>>.”
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