Entertainment

TLC faces backlash in the wake of Josh Duggar’s arrest, as critics demand they pull family’s show


Social media users are calling on TLC to cancel Counting On and pull all Duggar family programming from its website and streaming services in the wake of Josh Duggar‘s arrest on charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse images. 

Josh, 33, has not appeared on TLC since 2015, when the public learned through an unearthed police report that Josh had molested five minors — including four of his younger sisters — when he was a teenager.

The scandal led TLC to cancel 19 Kids and Counting, which they replaced months later with a new family show, Counting On. 

But since the shocking charges against Josh last week, critics are demanding that TLC remove any programming that the Duggars benefit financially from, arguing that it is ‘dangerous’ to continue giving the family a platform and that paychecks sent to Josh’s father Jim Bob are now likely paying for Josh’s legal fees.

Goners? Social media users are calling on TLC to cancel Counting On and pull all Duggar family programming from its website and streaming services

Pull 'em! Thousands have signed a Change.org petition saying that the family 'should no logner be allowed to collect money from streaming services and television series'

Pull ’em! Thousands have signed a Change.org petition saying that the family ‘should no logner be allowed to collect money from streaming services and television series’

Josh Duggar, 33, was arrested last week on charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse images and has hired several lawyers for his defense

Josh Duggar, 33, was arrested last week on charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse images and has hired several lawyers for his defense 

Enabler: Jim Bob is presumed to be paying for Josh's legal fees, and critics charge that he is doing so with money made from TLC — all while Josh's victims were unpaid

Enabler: Jim Bob is presumed to be paying for Josh’s legal fees, and critics charge that he is doing so with money made from TLC — all while Josh’s victims were unpaid 

Social media has been flooded with calls to cancel the Duggars, with Twitter users slamming TLC for not acting quickly enough. 

One wrote: ‘@TLC after these new allegations of Josh Duggar, you need to totally cancel this family. They allow and defend abhorrent behavior.’

‘CANCEL #countingon,’ tweeted another. ‘Jim Bob Duggar allowed this predator access to children. You allowed JB and Michelle to have a voice and camera time on the show, time to make a statement and cut them off.’

‘Josh Duggar is literal garbage and TLC needs to cancel/prevent any future shows involving him or his parents. They at the very least knew their son had assaulted his sisters and another girl and did NOTHING. STOP GIVING THIS FAMILY MONEY,’ said one more. 

Several noted that TLC is likely indirectly paying Josh’s legal fees. 

According to Jill Duggar’s husband, Derick Dillard, Jim Bob is the only person who receives payment for the family’s participation on the show. Derick has said on numerous occasions that the adult Duggar children were told they were ‘volunteers’ on the program, which they did to spread their Christian message.

He has alleged that Jim Bob is paid on behalf of all of the Duggars who appear on the show, and that the patriarch has shared the financial benefits as he sees fit. 

Called out: Social media has been flooded with calls to cancel the Duggars, with Twitter users slamming TLC for not acting quickly enough

Called out: Social media has been flooded with calls to cancel the Duggars, with Twitter users slamming TLC for not acting quickly enough

In fact, Derick even liked several tweets calling for TLC to remove Duggar shows from their platforms.

With Josh unable to work and facing serious prison and time, he has hired three lawyers for his defense — presumably paid for by Jim Bob. 

Critics, at least, are convinced that TLC’s paychecks to Jim Bob are now paying Josh’s legal fees. 

‘@TLC You must make a more definitive statement about Josh Duggar and cancel #CountingOn. Your show is paying for his legal fees. Some images of mere 18 month old children,’ wrote one.  

Vlogger Katie Joy, who frequently shares content about the Duggars, went on her own Twitter rant.  

‘Jim Bob Duggar has known about the investigation against Josh for years, he called it “fake news” in 11/19, Josh lived on his property & had access to dozens of minor children. JB is likely paying for his defense. TLC is going to look terrible if they don’t cancel Counting On,’ she wrote.

‘Josh Duggar is the product of a destructive sex cult that has enabled his actions & he’s been aided further by Jim Bob that downplayed his actions while minimizing his daughter’s abuse. This is why a continued platform for Jim Bob Duggar is dangerous — TLC must cancel counting on,’ she added.

All the money for me! According to Jill Duggar's husband, Derick Dillard, Jim Bob is the only person who receives payment for the family's participation on the show

All the money for me! According to Jill Duggar’s husband, Derick Dillard, Jim Bob is the only person who receives payment for the family’s participation on the show 

Going off: Derick has alleged that Jim Bob is paid on behalf of all of the Duggars who appear on the show, and that the patriarch has shared the financial benefits as he sees fit

Going off: Derick has alleged that Jim Bob is paid on behalf of all of the Duggars who appear on the show, and that the patriarch has shared the financial benefits as he sees fit

Sounding off: Derick even liked several tweets calling for the Duggars to be removed from TLC

Sounding off: Derick even liked several tweets calling for the Duggars to be removed from TLC

And a Change.org petition to ‘Delete all Duggar Shows’ has amassed over 6,200 signatures so far.

‘The Duggar family should no longer have a platform,’ the petition reads. ‘Josh Duggar molested his sisters and as of April 29, 2021 he has been arrested (by federal authorities) for child pornography. 

‘This family should no longer be allowed to collect money from streaming services and television series. Enough is enough. Too many people have been harmed.’ 

Supports who have signed the petition have shared their own arguments. 

‘This family does not deserve a platform to spread a message of “wholesomeness and love” while abiding a sexual predator,’ wrote one.

‘No family that has gone to such extents to cover heinous crimes should be allowed a media platform,’ said another.

‘Jim Bob Duggar is the only person on this show being paid. Supporting this show will help fund the legal fees of a pedophile,’ one more argued.  

Rebrand: Josh has not appeared on TLC since 2015, when 19 Kids and Counting was canceled and replaced with Counting On

Rebrand: Josh has not appeared on TLC since 2015, when 19 Kids and Counting was canceled and replaced with Counting On

Finances: Commenters on the Change.org petition don't want Jim Bob to collect another cent from the network

Finances: Commenters on the Change.org petition don’t want Jim Bob to collect another cent from the network

So far, TLC has released a single statement following Josh’s arrest, distancing themselves from him.

‘TLC is saddened to learn about the continued troubles involving Josh Duggar,’ the statement read. ’19 Kids and Counting has not aired since 2015. TLC canceled the show on the heels of prior allegations against Josh Duggar and he has not appeared on air since then.’ 

Though the network did not address the fate of the family’s show, viewers had speculated that it had not been renewed well before Josh’s arrest.

The most recent season aired from July 7, 2020 to September 22, 2020. A new season has not been announced, though on March 30, the network released a standalone episode documenting the family’s Easter celebrations and the birth of Joe and Kendra’s third child.

Even more telling is that TLC has not been involved with the announcements of two recent Duggar milestones: 18-year-old Justin’s wedding to Claire Spivey in February and 22-year-old Jed’s wedding to Katey Nakatsu in April.

DailyMail.com has reached out to TLC for comment. 



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