TLC Network Exploits Children?

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TLCTLC used to stand for The Learning Channel. Now it seems to stand for The Leading on of Children. According to the New York Post, the channel is, ‘Toddlers and Trash.’ TLC Network executives have not really said anything, or even made any decisions. The Network can choose to hide their heads in the sand, or take their lumps, learn from their mistakes and move forward. It seems, however, that the Network just keeps repeating its mistakes. Maybe that is why TLC has not made any comments. Maybe they are evaluating their lineup and future plans.

The TLC Network used to air Toddlers and Tiaras, which the New York Post calls “repellent” and “catnip for child molesters.” The show also made child exploitation a parade of little girls dressed up as big girls performing for trophies. Then there was Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, starring Mama June, who was dating a convicted child molester. Who, it turns out, had even accosted her own daughter, 12 years ago.

TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and instead added 19 Kids and Counting. This show exploited an extremely productive parenting team and their huge family, says the New York Post. However, Friday, May 22, 19 Kids and Counting was immediately taken off the air, but not canceled, when it was discovered that Josh Duggar had been charged with touching young girls, 12 years ago. In the middle of the fallout from this disruption, TLC aired a 19 Kids and Counting marathon. Though the scandal tainted the Duggar’s image surrounding family values, TLC still seemed to find a way to profit from the mess.

TLC’s TV lineup consisted of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, The Little Couple, Sister Wives, My 600-Lb. Life, My Strange Addiction, Sex Sent Me to the ER, Abby & Brittany, starring twins that were conjoined at the head, and My Five Wives. These shows gain audiences by taking advantage of people. The stars of such shows are struggling in some way and it is being aired on national television. It seems that the network is airing freak shows for hire.

Making matters worse, TLC has not canceled 19 Kids and Counting and there has been no word on if, or when the network plans to take the show off the air completely. TLC has pulled all of 19 Kids and Counting episodes off the air, including reruns it had been running, from the network’s lineup. This reaction came from pressure to take the show off the air. TLC is hoping taking all of the show’s episodes off the air will buy them time to determine the fate of the show, as the network has not made a long-term decision.

A General Mills representative, told TMZ, that the company has blacklisted TLC’s show, 19 Kids and Counting. The company has removed the show from its advertising schedule.

Josh Duggar’s wife, Anna has given a statement, saying that she has been through the shock the show’s audience and the nation is experiencing now. She still remembers how it felt. Josh told Anna of his indiscretions two years before he proposed to her. It was when Anna and her family first visited the Duggar’s home. Josh shared his past with Anna and her family. Josh wanted them to know who he really was. Over the next two years, it continued to be a topic of discussion between them. Josh told Anna how the counseling had changed his life and he continues to do the things he has learned in counseling.

When Josh proposed to Anna she could answer, “Yes” without any doubts. She knew who Josh was. He was on the wrong path and was able to go before God and those he offended for forgiveness. He got help and was able to change his life’s direction.

Anna thanked those who helped Josh during those terrible times. Those people changed his life. She said if it was not for their help, she would not be his wife of six-and-a-half years.

It may possible that TLC has the same compassion Anna is conveying in her statement. There are many possible lessons in this story as a whole. This situation is  unique and should be handled with care. It is possible that TLC is dealing with variables that are unknown to the outside world. There is a definite chain of events experienced surrounding TLC’s long-term issues with programing.

By Jeanette Smith


NY Post: Toddler and Trash: TLC’s Freak Shows Were Bound to Explode
Radar Online: Josh Duggar Sex Scandal  – TLC Pulls ’19 Kids and Counting’ Off the Air
TMZ: ’19 Kids and Counting’ TLC Yanks Show from TV Schedule
Entertainment: ’19 Kids and Counting’ cancelled? Christians and Non-Christians Shocked by Josh Duggar Scandal