TLC released a statement on Thursday July 16, 2015, announcing the cancellation of the Duggar Family’s 19 Kids and Counting. The cancellation comes just two months after one of the show’s 19 kids, Josh Duggar, came out about the acts of child molestation he committed as a teenager. It was revealed that several of his younger sisters were victims.
TLC initially pulled past episodes of the show in May, keeping the possibility that the show would resume in the future. However, in light of the recent events, the Duggar family, along with TLC, has decided that the show must be put to rest, despite its popularity.
“TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with ’19 Kids and Counting,’” TLC said in their official statement. “The show will no longer appear on the air.”
Despite the cancellation, a spokesman for Discovery Communications, which own TLC, says that the channel is still open to future spin-off shows from some of the Duggar children.
The Duggar family released a statement following the cancellation, “With God’s grace and help, Josh, our daughters, and our entire family overcame a terrible situation, found healing and a way forward. 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. We appreciate the love, support, prayers, and kindness extended to us by many of you. You have deeply touched our hearts and encouraged us, during this time.”
In addition to the cancellation, TLC, the Duggar family, and advocacy groups, RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) and Darkness to Light are working together to create a special one-hour, commercial-free documentary on the issue of child molestation. The Discovery-produced event, set to premiere later this summer, will feature two of the Duggar girls who were molested.
“We look forward to working with TLC on this upcoming special documentary and hope that it is an encouragement to many,” the Duggar family stated.
RAINN released a statement about their decision to partner with TLC for the one-hour special, “Together, we believe we can help families that have been affected by this terrible crime and make sure that parents and others have the knowledge and tools they need to help keep kids safe.”
Discovery executive, Majorie Kaplan, who oversees TLC, told the Associated Press that the company plans to take advantage of their opportunity to educate people about the prevalence of child sexual abuse, calling it an “obligation”.
“The goal is to take what has been a difficult and painful experience, and focus that attention on the really critical issue of child protection and sexual abuse,” Kaplan said.
Here is the official TLC statement released on Thursday:
“After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air.
The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection.
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. 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.
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.”