TLC announced Friday afternoon that it had pulled all episodes of its popular show “19 Kids and Counting” from the air after the Duggar family’s oldest son admitted wrongdoing amid reports that he’d molested young girls when he was a teenager.
“Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air,” the network said in a statement on Facebook. “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”
It’s unclear from that statement whether the show, which is in its 10th season, will return to the airwaves.
Tabloid magazine In Touch on Thursday published a 2006 police report that showed Josh Duggar was investigated for sex crimes, including fondling five underage girls, from 2002-2003. Duggar, who was 14 at the time the offenses allegedly occurred, was never charged with any crime.
Duggar, now 27, said in a statement issued later Thursday to People magazine that as a teenager he “acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.” He added that he “understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
The eldest Duggar child also resigned Thursday from his position as the executive director of FRC Action, the lobbying arm of the anti-gay Family Research Council.
The ultra-conservative, Christian, Duggar family has been highly active in Republican politics over the years. The family endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) for President for the 2008 and 2016 election cycles, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) for the 2012 election.
Huckabee rushed to Josh Duggar’s defense Friday in a Facebook post that excoriated the media for “sensationalizing” the allegations against Duggar and dredging up sordid details of his adolescence. Santorum has not commented on the matter.