Stargazing

Walgreens, Payless ShoeSource and Choice Hotels dump ‘19 Kids and Counting’

Advertisers are fleeing “19 Kids and Counting” after eldest son Josh Duggar admitted publicly to inappropriate behavior with young girls when he was a teen.
Advertisers are fleeing “19 Kids and Counting” after eldest son Josh Duggar admitted publicly to inappropriate behavior with young girls when he was a teen. TLC

Advertisers are walking away from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” after eldest son Josh Duggar admitted to inappropriate behavior with young girls – including his sisters, according to reports – when he was a teen.

On Tuesday night Walgreens announced on its official Facebook page that “in the wake of recent news, we are no longer advertising” on the show.

Choice Hotels and Payless ShoeSource told its respective Twitter followers that they won’t advertise on the TLC reality series anymore. All three companies follow General Mills, which pulled its advertising soon after the scandal becoming public.

The hotel chain told a Twitter user on Monday that it shared concerns about what was unfolding with the Duggars “and we have decided to remove our advertising from the show.”

Payless said its ads on the show ran as part of a “larger buy” on TLC but that company is “taking steps to have them removed from future episodes.”

The news was applauded by people calling for advertisers to boycott the show.

Before Tuesday, Walgreens had said that it was monitoring the situation with the show, but that stance wasn’t good enough for some folks. The company was slammed on Facebook for not cutting ties completely with the show.

Wrote one woman: “I, in no way, shape, or form, want any of my money to go towards support of people who cover up sexual abuse. I will be finding another pharmacy until I'm certain that my money will not be finding its way into the Duggar's pockets.”

On Thursday, Josh Duggar admitted to acting “inexcusably” when he was a teen.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he said in a statement.

“I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

Though TLC announced on Friday that it has pulled the show from its schedule, it has not said whether it will discontinue the show entirely.

And for that, TLC is also paying a price as calls for boycotts of both the show’s advertisers and the cable network itself grow louder.

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