The Duggar family's hit show, "19 Kids and Counting," may have gotten the ax, but they haven't given up on their television dreams just yet. TLC made the decision to yank the reality series from the network entirely this month following reports that star Josh Duggar had molested several young girls at the age of 14. While the Duggars accepted TLC's decision, they are disappointed to no longer be sharing their lives with the world.
According to People magazine the family was "heartbroken" to learn that the network had scrapped the show. Sources say it had long since been a dream of theirs to give people a glimpse into their lives and their religion and they were devastated to have "lost that platform." Despite their reported overwhelming sadness, the family is still holding onto some hope that they will be able to return to television one day. The magazine's sources say the Duggars believe this is the path God laid out for them.
"The Duggars want to return to TV because they truly believe it was part of God's plan for them to spread the word about their faith," the source told People. "I think Jim Bob and Michelle honestly did expect people to just move on from this. Their thinking is, they put this behind them ages ago, so why wouldn't the rest of the world?"
TLC announced "19 Kids" cancellation on July 16, nearly two months after news of Josh's sexual misconduct broke. In a statement shared with the Associated Press the network said they felt pulling the show completely was "the best way forward" following the scandal. The Duggar family followed suit, releasing a statement of their own on their family website. In it, they thanked the people who helped make their show, saying they have "become family." They also thanked their loyal fans for their "love, support, prayers and kindness."
In the wake of the show's cancellation, TLC has partnered with RAINN and Darkness to Light to promote the organizations and their fight for adolescents who have suffered from sexual abuse. The partnership will be on-going and the network is hopeful that it will help bring about awareness and perhaps start a more open dialogue about child sexual abuse. They plan to kick it off at the end of summer with an hour-long documentary featuring testimonies from survivors of abuse. Among those sharing their stories will be Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, two of Josh's sisters and victims.
While that may seem like a step in the right direction, not everyone is happy with TLC's decision to include Jessa and Jill in the documentary. Mama June Shannon, who once starred on the TLC original series "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," has spoken out against their inclusion in the documentary. The 36-year-old reality star feels having them participate gives the Duggars an opportunity to glorify Josh's actions and, according to her, "that kinda behavior is not okay." As you may recall, Mama June's family's series was canceled just hours after photos surfaced showing her spending time with an ex-boyfriend who had spent 10 years behind bars for child molestation.