The network issued the following statement on Friday: “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.”
TLC wouldn’t comment on Thursday after a police report surfaced of Duggar’s past indiscretions, but instead ran a marathon of the show, which prominently featured Josh. Naturally, that sparked outrage from viewers and non-viewers alike.
According to TMZ, the fate of the show is “uncertain” and sources involved say no long-term decision has been made. However, cameras have been rolling this week. One day before Josh’s past was uncovered, he tweeted out a picture while filming.
— Josh Duggar (@joshduggar) May 20, 2015
This is not the first time TLC has found itself in a controversial situation. The network pulled the plug on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo hours after it was confirmed that Mama June was dating a convicted child molester. Mama June has some choice words for TLC and is even threatening to sue.
Josh, the eldest of the Duggar clan, issued an apology after news of his past went public. “I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” he said in a statement. “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.”
However, it wasn’t just Josh who was implicated in the shocking report. According to records, Jim Bob and Michelle were made aware of their son’s behavior many years ago and they did not go to the police. “We had tried to teach him right from wrong,” they said in a lengthy joint statement on Thursday. “Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God.”
Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar — with whom he has three young children and another on the way —also spoke out, saying he told her about his past before they got engaged. She said she believes he is a changed man and is “someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right.”
In the wake of his molestation admission, Josh resigned from the Family Research Council, which rallies against LGBT equality. The FRC accepted, saying it is the “best decision” at this time.
There is one person outside the family firmly standing by Josh’s side… 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
“Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family,” Huckabee, 59, wrote on Facebook. “Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities.”
The Duggars have yet to comment on TLC temporarily pulling their show.
By Taryn Ryder