by Suzanne Titkemeyer
After yesterday’s shocking news that Josh Duggar, eldest son of TLC’s reality television stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, confessed to sexually assaulting underage girls during his teenage years you’d think that The Learning Channel might have decided to do the responsible thing and not show last night’s regularly scheduled “19 Kids & Counting” episode.
In fact, they did nothing of the sort. Instead they chose to air a “19 Kids & Counting” marathon, rife with Josh-centric episodes.
It is perfectly clear that TLC has double standards in how they approach serious subjects like child molestation. Back in 2014 they quickly canceled a show with higher ratings than the Duggars once it became apparent that the mother of Alana, June Shannon, was involved with a convicted child molester. TLC shelved unaired episodes of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, pulled all reruns and canceled the show, as well they should have done. Continuing to support that family while a convicted sexual predator, convicted of sexually molesting another of June Shannon’s daughters, was involved would be like TLC putting their seal of approval on child molestation.
So far even with Josh’s open confession of what he did, police reports and the outrage of the public TLC decided that the best response to the sad and tragic news was to not cancel the show immediately but to run that marathon.
Let’s face it, popular Christians get a pass where people considered as a subclass, a strongly looked-down upon subclass that middle class Christians would not associate with, don’t. TLC canceled the show with the family that some people would refer to as ‘redneck’ or ‘poor white’. They doubled down on their support of Josh Duggar.
The other big difference is that Josh was never charged or convicted in a court of law, this was all swept under the rug and carefully hidden. While June Shannon’s child molester was tried and convicted. But that’s a small difference in the eyes of most folks.
What TLC did by airing an all-Josh marathon was demean, diminish and deny the reality of what happened to the victims. It sends a message that the female victims of sexual abuse aren’t worthy of respect, or protection, that it’s all okay as long as the Good Christian Man says he’s very very sorry and that Jesus forgave him. It minimizes the damage done to women and men as something they just have to ‘get over’ and ‘forgive’
This may have started happening way back in 2002 when Josh was a teenager and continued on for at least a year or two before stopping but that doesn’t mean that the victims don’t deserve at least the common respect of the network at least temporarily removing the show from the airwaves.
Do the right thing TLC and CANCEL “19 Kids & Counting” immediately! A mother that would sent their son to do a construction assignment with a friend instead of placing him in a real therapeutic environment is not a worthy role model. A father who takes their son to a law enforcement friend to put the fear of the law into the son has no business on television pretending he is a good father. Off the television and into therapy for the entire family. There’s nothing good or redeeming about continuing to showcase a religious family who hide abuse and lie by omission.
If you want to know more about what occurred Patheo’s blogger Libby Anne has written the best and most respectful breakdown – What You Need to Know about the Josh Duggar Police Report
Please consider signing the petition to take the Duggars off the airways. – Tell TLC To Stop Supporting A Child Molester By Cancelling 19 Kids & Counting