TLC, in announcing Thursday the cancellation of “19 Kids and Counting,” took a bold and proper next step, announcing plans to help raise awareness of child sexual abuse to “protect our audience and protect children.”
The network had pulled the show off the air following reports that Josh Duggar, the oldest son, had allegedly molested several young girls, including two of his sisters, but Thursday’s announcement cancels the program, which ran for 10 seasons, and sets up an opportunity to help children and families enduring similar issues.
TLC announced it is partnering with Darkness to Light, a program that works to educate people about and arm them to help prevent and stop child sexual abuse, and RAINN, an anti-rape organization. As recently as a couple years ago, Family & Children’s Place provided Darkness to Light programming in Louisville, and continues to contract limited training with the Kentucky Association of Children’s Advocacy Centers.
Additionally, In August, TLC will air a documentary featuring Jill and Jessa Duggar—two of Josh’s victims—as well as other survivors of molestation.
The road to the decision was sad and unfortunate, but TLC taking responsibility and agreeing to air information about child sexual abuse that will educate the public about abuse, inform people of their responsibility to report sexual and physical abuse and help prevent harm to even a single child is a well- made decision.
Kudos to TLC for making the right call and taking the right path forward.