Skip to main content

Josh Duggar is Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s oldest son, and he has a pretty dark past. Though the family did their best to sweep things under the rug, Josh’s sexual abuse scandal was cracked wide open in 2015.

Since then, he hasn’t been able to film with the family for their TLC show, Counting On. And some fans think the older Duggar siblings intentionally avoid being photographed with him for fear of pushback from their fans.

The Duggar family
The Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Josh Duggar admitted to inappropriately touching his siblings in the early 2000s

Years before the Duggar family was famous, Josh admitted to his parents that he had inappropriately touched several of his younger sisters. Most of the abuse occurred while the girls slept. Jim Bob and Michelle sent Josh away to Christian counseling in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he would get help for the problem.

Michelle and Jim Bob responded to the situation by admitting that what Josh did was very wrong, but that a “ray of hope” was that he had told them when it happened. They also said that once Josh returned from counseling, they no longer thought he was a threat to their daughters at all.

Since the abuse scandal, Josh hasn’t been allowed to film for the show

Once the news leaked, 19 Kids and Counting was immediately pulled from the air. Critics called for the show to be cancelled, so TLC took action and removed it from their lineup. But there were many Duggar fans who still wanted to see the other children grow up, so TLC returned the Duggars to television with the show Counting On.

Today, Counting On has finished its 10th season, and many of the Duggars are now grown up and married. Over the past 10 seasons, TLC has never allowed Josh to appear on the show.

Fans think his siblings intentionally avoid spending time with him

Fans often discuss Josh’s past and how it might have impacted Michelle and Jim Bob’s daughters. And those who follow the show recently took to Reddit to discuss whether the siblings intentionally avoid photos with Josh. The original poster suggested that the kids don’t like to pose for photos with Josh because they fear backlash from fans — and many agreed.

“I don’t believe the adult kids dislike him, I just think they don’t want to publicly show it for the negative push back they’d get,” the original poster suggested. “Josh isn’t good for the ‘brand’ the sisters are trying to cultivate,” someone else wrote. “I actually wouldn’t be surprised if some of the adults dislike him!” another user added. Others chimed in to suggest that John David, Joe, Jinger, and Jill showed clear dislike toward Josh in various ways on the show.

Some are shocked by the way Josh’s parents treat him 

Michelle and Jim Bob have outright said that they’ve forgiven their son. Josh attends all family events, and it’s as though nothing ever happened when he was younger. At the same time, though, Jill Duggar has essentially been blacklisted from the family for reported disagreements between her husband and Jim Bob. And fans have commented on their dislike for the difference in treatment between the two.