TLC has removed 19 Kids and Counting from its schedule after one of those kids, Josh Duggar, confirmed that he molested four of the others, his sisters, as a teenager. “The fate of the show is uncertain,” a source told TMZ Friday. The network had just run a 19 Kids and Counting marathon the previous day.
Advertisers are also pulling out, TMZ adds, citing a rep for General Mills who said the company has “blacklisted” the Duggars for future ad buys.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Huckabee publicly stood by his “good friends” the Duggars, saying that “good people” sometimes do disgusting things (like, according to police reports about Josh Duggar, touching girls’ “breasts and genitals” while they slept, and “fondling” one girl while he read a book to her).
“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,” Huckabee wrote on Facebook.
“No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.”
Huckabee argues there was no need for the family (who likely make more than TLC’s standard $25,000 to $40,000 per episode, and whose huge house is rumored to have been paid for by the network) to publicly disclose anything about the abuse in Josh’s past, because his sisters didn’t want it.
He would have a much stronger case if the Duggar brand didn’t revolve around the family being champions of biblical morality.
Josh Duggar resigned from his job with the conservative Family Research Council after issuing a public statement earlier this week.