TLC has officially announced the cancellation of the reality series “19 Kids and Counting” featuring the scandal-ridden Duggar family.
“We spent the past month and a half in thoughtful consideration about what is the best way forward here,” said Marjorie Kaplan, group president of TLC, Animal Planet and Velocity networks.
In a move to redirect the attention and public outcry, TLC also announced it has teamed with two prominent child-protection organizations for an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about child sexual abuse.
The multi-platform initiative will begin with a one-hour, commercial-free documentary likely airing in late August, the network said. It will include the participation of Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of the sisters Josh Duggar touched inappropriately, as well as other survivors and families affected by such abuse.
“We took it as an opportunity to step further than just ‘How do we protect ourselves?’ and step into ‘How do we protect our audience and protect children?'” Kaplan said. “Our hope is to do more of that, in a way that’s thoughtful and respectful of the victims of child abuse — in the Duggar family and across America.”
TLC is partnering with Darkness to Light, whose mission is providing interested parties with techniques for protecting children from sexual abuse, and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), which describes itself as the nation’s largest anti-sexual-violence organization.
A series of reports surfaced in May regarding eldest son Josh Duggar, who had apparently molested his sisters and others 12 years ago while still a teen.
During the run of “19 Kids” the Duggar family presented itself as morally superior due to their “Christian” lifestyle, and had openly campaigned against civil rights for LGBT Americans.
Just a few weeks ago, a non-Duggar family member was reported to be preparing a civil suit against Josh Duggar for the alleged molestation.