This is not the first time that the stars of 19 Kids and Counting are courting a shocking controversy, but it is the latest one for Jim Bob Duggar’s family. The show began in 2008 and since then followed the family of Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, with their nine girls and 10 boys. Viewers saw them homeschooling their children and the marriages of the older children. Christmas was celebrated and the family grew as grandchildren were added. They became a staple on TLC, in fact their eighth season premiere was TLC‘s highest-rated premiere ever.
For 10 seasons, people have watched the family live following evangelical Christian values and raise their 19 children as believers. They became TLC‘s leading show and celebrities, even supporting political candidates. The Duggar family has come through controversies in the past, but the latest one was the one which got them pulled off the channel. The following, is a list of all controversies or issues the family has been in hot water for; some are quite shocking:
Josh Duggar’s Sexual Molestation Charges, May 2015: Police reports revealed that in 2002, Jim Bob Duggar’s oldest son, Josh Duggar, sexually molested five girls. Josh, then 14, fondled the breasts and genital areas of underage girls, including some family members. While Josh, now married with three children, was apologetic for his conduct, his family fully supported him. Josh quit his job as the executive director of FRC Action and TLC suspended the show and replaced the it with another popular show, Little People, Big World.
The family issued statements about what they thought on their official Facebook page, including statements by Jim Bob Duggar and his wife.
Some people, came out in support of the celebrity family and stood by them. They said that Josh committed those deeds when he was a child and his remarkable progress since then should be taken into consideration.
While some, could not fathom the actions and decisions taken by Jim Bob Duggar.
Anti- LGBTQ Sentiments: Every time one of these incidents happen, LGBTQ supporters sign a petition asking TLC to take the show off, but they do not succeed. Jim Bob Duggar’s controversial family has come out in support for marriage between a man and a woman, but outside the premises of the show 19 Kids and Counting.
Josh Duggar led a gay marriage opposition rally in Arkansas in November 2014. Before the rally, in a press release Josh said that a majority of the people of Arkansas had voted to “preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman” and he wanted to remind the Arkansas Supreme Court of that. This followed a challenge on Facebook where the family had asked other couples to post happily married pictures and then deleted pictures of same-sex couples, in the same month.
The family members have slammed the transgender community when Michelle Duggar campaigned against an anti-discrimination bill being discussed in Arkansas, August 2014. The bill would have let transgender people use whichever public restrooms they were comfortable with in Arkansas. Michelle shockingly asked parents whom they wanted to be undressing next to their daughters at the public pool’s changing areas. She said that allowing “men” to use areas designated for women’s use would endanger the safety of the women.
Abortion: Quiverfull believes that children are a gift of God and takes the Bible passage “be fruitful and multiply” very seriously. Jim Bob Duggar’s family has compared abortion to the Holocaust and genocide multiple times. They are pro-life and said that it was a “baby holocaust” where 4,000 babies were being wounded every day. In January 2015, Jim Bob Duggar’s entire family marched in a Pro-Life demonstration to the State Capitol of Little Rock, Arkansas. In September 2014, Jessa Duggar also compared ethnic cleansing to the evolutionary theory and said that they should give a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves because every life is precious. She ended with “#ProLife” as she described her thoughts while going through the Holocaust Museum.
In an interview which aired on the Christian Broadcasting Network in in 2011, Michelle said that overpopulation was a myth, when asked what kind of environmental impact such large families were having.
Women’s Rights: Jim Bob Duggar belongs to Quiverfull, a religious sect which eschews birth control and promotes homeschooling among their practitioners. Michelle has said, previously that women should always say yes to sex, even if they are tired. Michelle revealed these as one of the tips keeping their marriage alive, even after 19 kids. She said that the wife should be available whenever the man calls, but the same family got in trouble when they banned their daughter, Jill from helping out a relative who got pregnant out of wedlock in 2012. Susanna Keller, 22, is the younger sister of Anna Duggar, Josh’s wife. Jill, a practicing midwife, was stopped by her parents from fraternizing with the unwed mother and could not help Susanna her give birth. They slowly pushed Susanna away.
Even as the family seems strict and sometimes rigid in their beliefs, their mother, Michelle has been seen as a role model for feminism. When a New York Observer journalist attended the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2014, she found that many women see Michelle as the front-runner for stay-at-home mothers. Michelle, while raising 19 children of her own, has made the lifestyle seem dignifies and conveyed the challenges of such a situation to the wider public, unlike liberal feminists, the journalist found out.
Meanwhile, TLC executives who spoke to CNN said that the show, 19 Kids and Counting has not been cancelled yet, just put on the shelves till Jim Bob Duggar’s family situation calms down. “This is a family in crisis,” said the TLC executives while mentioning the recent controversy, and said that it was not a time for the television show to air.
By Anugya Chitransh
Facebook: Duggar Family Official
CNN Money: ’19 Kids and Counting’ episodes yanked over scandal
Buzfeed: A History Of The “19 Kids And Counting” Stars’ Anti-LGBT And Anti-Abortion Comments
Radar: Cruel Rules! Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar Break Up The Family, Forbid Kids From Helping Unwed Relative
New York Observer: The Duggars Seem So Nice Until You Meet Their Terrifying Political Agenda
Photo Courtesy of Lwp Kommunikacio’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License