It's official: On Thursday, July 16, the Associated Press reported that TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting, which followed the Duggar family. The cancellation news isn't unexpected, especially since news broke in May 2015 that Josh Duggar allegedly sexually assaulted several female minors when he was a minor, including his sisters Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard. After the reports surfaced about Josh, several Duggar family members spoke out about the situation, and now, the Duggar family is speaking out again — this time about 19 Kids and Counting's cancellation through a post on their blog.
"It is our prayer that the painful situation our family went through many years ago can point people toward faith in God and help others who also have lived through similar dark situations to find help, hope and healing, as well," a portion of the statement reads. "We appreciate the love, support, prayers and kindness extended to us by many of you. You have deeply touched our hearts and encouraged us, during this time."
The family goes onto to thank their fans for the love and support they have received throughout their entire time on television, and especially during the "terrible situation" surrounding their family. They write, "We know Who holds the future and are confident that He will work all things together for good." The statement concludes, "We love each of you and look forward to unfolding the future with peace and joy."
TLC also released a statement following the cancellation. It reads in part: "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." TLC also announced it's working on an one-hour documentary, which will include Jill, Jessa, and other survivors, as well as families 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," TLC adds in it statement.
As noted above, this isn't the first time the Duggars have commented on the sexual abuse claims. Josh, his wife Anna Duggar, and Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar all opened up to People after the molestation claims surfaced. Josh told the magazine,
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 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.
Additionally, in June 2015, the Jim Bob and Michelle talked with Megyn Kelly during a Fox News interview, where they once again discussed the sexual assault allegations surrounding their son.
Image: Getty Images