'19 Kids and Counting' Cancelled: The Duggars Speak Out
"TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward," the network said.
— -- The TV show "19 Kids and Counting" was cancelled today, weeks after TLC pulled the show from its schedule because one of its stars, Josh Duggar, admitted to "inexcusable" actions that occurred several years ago, ABC News has learned.
"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 network told ABC News in a statement.
The cancellation follows TLC pulling the show from its schedule in May after reports surfaced that Josh allegedly inappropriately touched several minor girls, starting when he was 14 years old. Later it was discovered that some of the alleged victims were his sisters.
Josh's parents Jim Bob and Michelle also released a statement today about the cancellation, saying "Today, TLC announced that they will not be filming new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. ... With God’s grace and help, Josh, our daughters and our entire family overcame a terrible situation, found healing and a way forward. We are so pleased with the wonderful adults they have all become."
TLC added in its statement that a campaign to raise awareness on child sexual abuse, including upcoming work with the Duggar family on a one-hour documentary was in the network's future.
"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 statement added.
The Duggar parents also spoke about what's next for them after "19 Kids," adding in the statement, "We look forward to working with TLC on this upcoming special documentary and hope that it is an encouragement to many."
For the special, TLC will be partnering with RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, which also released a statement that read, "We are pleased to be partnering with TLC to fight child sexual abuse, and appreciate its efforts to spur a national dialogue about this issue. Child sexual abuse affects millions of families across the nation, and we all have a responsibility to work together to end it."
Two months ago, when the news about Josh's past surfaced, he responded on Facebook, apologizing for his actions, writing "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. ... I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged."
He continued, "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."
Last month, it was revealed that Jill and Jessa Duggar, Josh's sisters, were among of the victims of the alleged actions.
Jessa defended her brother in an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, saying, "I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying. I'm like, that is so overboard and a lie, really. I mean, people get mad at me for saying that but I am like, I can say this, you know? I was one of the victims."
The hit reality show had been on the air since 2008 and featured the Duggar family, their 19 kids and even their kids' families. The show was originally called "17 Kids and Counting," but the show patriarch and matriarch Jim Bob and Michelle had two more children over the past few seasons.