It Took 'Possessing Child Pornography' Charges To Finally Cancel The Duggars

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Washington County Sheriff’s Office/Getty

TLC finally cancels “Counting On” starring the extremely problematic Duggar family

You may recall that back in 2015, it came to light that Josh Duggar, eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting fame, had molested several of his younger sisters when he was a teenager. When it became known that JB and Michelle hadn’t done much of anything to protect their daughters from their predator son, the public seemed to lose their taste for the family. That’s when TLC cancelled their show and the world thought they were done with all things Duggar.

But of course, TLC must’ve realized the revenue stream they’d be missing out on by not letting the world gawk at these people so they came up with a Josh-free spinoff called Counting On. Now, in light of the charges brought against Josh for “receiving and possessing child pornography,” the network has parted ways with the family entirely. For now. I don’t believe for a second that this will be the end of it because, reasons.

Before we dive in, a quick and very important editorial note: law enforcement uses the term “child pornography” to describe charges brought against Josh but according to Interpol, the proper terminology is “child sexual abuse.” When we use the phrase “child pornography” it’s only to make accurate note of Duggar’s formal charges brought up by law enforcement. The term itself is repulsive and needs to change. We will refer to it as child sexual abuse in any wording outside of direct quotes from court filings related to Duggar’s legal situation.

In a statement to PEOPLE, the network explains their decision to cancel the show. “TLC will not be producing additional seasons of Counting On,” the statement reads. “TLC feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately.”

There’s also the small matter of not giving money and a huge platform to a set of parents who apparently didn’t do anything meaningful about the sexual abuse their own daughters suffered at the hands of their repulsive oldest son. According to the Washington Post, at the time of the abuse, Josh received a “stern” talking-to from a police officer who is now serving decades in prison on his own child sexual abuse material charges. I mean. You can’t even make this shit up. How on earth this family ever got a second show once that news hit is beyond me. How anyone watched it knowing what happened is even further beyond. How anyone is continuing to defend Jim Bob and Michelle is simply out of this orbit.

Counting On followed the older Duggar kids (not Josh) and began airing episodes in 2015. Aside from Josh’s horrific child sexual abuse charges, the family itself is incredibly problematic in countless ways and in my humble opinion, their harmful views never deserved a platform in the first place. Girls and women aren’t given much choice in life and are coached by their own mother to always be “joyfully available” for their husbands. They aren’t even supposed to wear pants. This isn’t some cutesy alternative lifestyle — it’s an abusive cult. The less the public sees of this horror show, the better.

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