Usually we stray from news that is in anyway connected to TLC, but the Duggars could be ignored no longer. You’ve probably heard their name about a million times in the past week, and with good reason. Here’s what’s going on.
WHO ARE THE DUGGARS
19 Kids & Counting is a TLC reality show that premiered in 2008. It stars Jim Bob (already ominous) and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children, all of whose names start with J. Like, sorry Kardashians, but you’ve been beat at your own game. This single woman and her mighty vagina have managed to birth enough children to fill an elementary school classroom.
After the miscarriage of their second child, which they attributed to the use of birth control, Jim Bob and Michelle decide to let Jesus take the wheel on the number of kids they would have. Clearly this was a bad call, because He hasn’t let up. Over the course of 21 years, Michelle Duggar has given birth 17 times (they have two sets of twins), which means that this woman has been pregnant for almost 13 years of her life.
The Duggars are Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB), which is just as scary as it sounds. The girls are not allowed to wear shorts, tank tops, or show their thighs because everyone knows thighs are primarily composed of sin. There is no dating for any child in the Duggar household, just chaperoned courtship, kind of like the Victorian Era. All of the kids are homeschooled by a program called Advanced Training Institute, which has also come under intense scrutiny recently. I would be worried about them finding this article and praying for my demise, but the odds are slim because their Internet is censored and a website called Betches Love This probably didn’t make the cut.
“And on the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so that man could fight the dinosaurs. And the homosexuals.” – One of the Duggar kids, probably.
WHAT’S GOING ON
Last week a police report from 2006 surfaced that cited sexual molestation charges against the oldest Duggar child, Josh. He was accused of molesting five girls throughout 2002-2003, four of which were his little sisters. Josh, his parents, and his wife have all admitted this was true, but the statute of limitations has already passed, meaning he can't be prosecuted. So while thighs and Internet may not be chill in the eyes of God, it would appear that sexual abuse is excusable.
Josh released an apologetic statement when the news broke, saying that he “acted inexcusably” and is “extremely sorry” for the pain he caused his family. He gained public support from Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who clearly didn’t get the memo that throwing your hat in with a child molester isn’t the soundest political strategy.
With this news in mind, there have been a couple of old interviews that are being viewed in a new light, like this one with Cosmo where Jessa Duggar says her oldest brother is “probably” a good kisser. Or this video from 2008, where Josh jokes about incest.
Or the time that Jim Bob said that incest should be punishable by death during his 2002 Senate campaign.
TLC temporarily pulled 19 & Counting from their regular programming, but have yet to announce their permanent plans. Many sponors, including General Mills and Walgreens, have already pulled their advertisements. If the show is reinstated, it will most likely be without Josh.