Is ‘Counting On’ Canceled? Outraged Viewers Petition TLC to End Duggar Family’s Show After Josh Duggar Arrest
Is this the end of Counting On? Some people certainly hope so. Following the arrest of former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar on child pornography charges, TLC is facing calls to cancel Counting On, which features other members of the Duggar family.
Josh Duggar arrested, pleads not guilty
Duggar, 33, was arrested April 29 in Arkansas. He has been charged with one count of receiving and one count of possessing child pornography, including material depicting the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12. He has pleaded not guilty.
Duggar has not appeared on TLC since 2015. However, members of his extended family star in Counting On, a 19 Kids and Counting spinoff that has aired on the network since late 2015.
The Duggar family’s original reality show aired from 2008 to 2015, but was canceled after allegations surfaced that Josh Duggar had molested several girls when he was a teenager. Duggar was never charged with a crime related to those incidents, but did apologize, saying in a statement that he “acted inexcusably” and was “extremely sorry.” In a 2015 interview with Fox News, Duggar’s parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, confirmed that some of the victims were his younger sisters.
TLC faces calls to cancel ‘Counting On’
In the wake of Duggar’s arrest, some people are calling on TLC to cut ties with the Duggar family once and for all. An online petition at Change.org says that the family should “no longer have a platform” or “collect money from streaming services and television series. Too many people have been harmed.” As of May 3, more than 3,300 people had signed.
On social media, critics have also taken to commenting on posts from the network, demanding that it cancel Counting On.
“Cancel the Duggars for good this time,” read a comment on an Instagram post promoting the series Extreme Sisters.
“I remember when the TLC channel was an actual decent channel to watch! The Duggars show and this show should be cancelled!” another commented on an Instagram post discussing the show Seeking Sister Wife.
TLC says it is ‘saddened’ by Josh Duggar’s ‘troubles’
Showbiz Cheat Sheet reached out to TLC for comment about the calls to cancel Counting On, but did not hear back by the time of publication. However, in a statement shared with People on April 30, the network said it was “saddened to learn about the continued troubles involving Josh Duggar.”
“19 Kids and Counting has not aired since 2015. TLC cancelled the show on the heels of prior allegations against Josh Duggar and he has not appeared on-air since then.”
Members of the Duggar family respond to allegations against Josh Duggar
Several members of the Duggar family have responded to the latest allegations against Josh Duggar.
In a statement shared on their website, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar called the charges their son is facing “very serious.”
“It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner.”
In a statement on Instagram, Josh Duggar’s younger sister Jinger Duggar and her husband Jeremy Vuolo said they were “disturbed” by the charges. They added that they “absolutely condemn any form of child abuse.”
In a now-deleted Instagram Story, Jessa Duggar said she was “saddened” to learn of the charges against her brother. She wrote that “as a Christian” she stood against “any form of pornography and abuse.”
If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. In a statement shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, his attorneys Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story, and Greg Payne said they intended to “defend this case aggressively and thoroughly.”
How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support.