TLC has canceled its popular reality show “19 Kids and Counting” in the aftermath of the child molestation scandal that hit the Duggar family in May.
However, the network plans to air a one-hour documentary later this summer about survivors of child abuse.
The news came in the form of an official statement on the network’s website.
The show had been in limbo since May. That’s when the network pulled the hit show from its lineup after it became public that eldest son, Josh Duggar, 27, had engaged in inappropriate behavior with some of his younger sisters – including Jessa and Jill, who will appear in the upcoming documentary – and a babysitter in 2002 and 2003.
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That was the only move that TLC made during the ensuing scandal and aftermath, much to the dismay of many who called for the network to cancel the show outright.
The network did that on Thursday with this official statement:
“After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air.
“The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection.
“Over these past weeks, TLC has consulted regularly with leading victims' rights and advocacy organizations in the U.S., including RAINN and Darkness to Light, to discuss how to use this moment to address the issue and make a positive impact. Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is not an isolated issue; it affects many children and families around the world.
“To that end, we are partnering with both organizations on a multi-platform campaign to raise awareness and educate parents and families about the issue. In the first phase of this initiative, TLC will work closely with both groups and with the Duggar family on a one-hour documentary that will include Jill and Jessa and other survivors and families that have been affected by abuse.
“TLC has been especially concerned for the victims in this situation, including the Duggar family, and it is our hope that this effort will help those in need learn where to turn for information and help. The documentary will be commercial free, and we anticipate it will air later this summer.”