Oprah moved quickly on Duggar report; TLC quiet so far about its star family | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 22, 2015

Oprah moved quickly on Duggar report; TLC quiet so far about its star family

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 7:14 AM

click to enlarge JOSH DUGGAR
TMZ notes how quickly and decisively the Oprah show moved after receiving a report of molestation allegations against Josh Duggar shortly before the Duggar family was to tape an appearance on the program.

Show employees immediately sent the tip on molestation to the Arkansas child abuse hotline. Within seven hours, police were attempting to contact the Duggars in Chicago about speaking with Josh Duggar. The Oprah show also immediately canceled the Duggar family appearance.

The Duggars have continued to enjoy a profitable spot on the TLC reality show lineup with their "19 Kids and Counting" program. Yesterday, a publicist for the show declined my request for comment. On TLC's Facebook page, the only reference to the revelations about Duggar's past and his father's failure to report multiple allegations of molestation to authorities is a link to prepared statements the Duggars gave to a media outlet historically very friendly to the family, People magazine. Reader comments seem to be running strongly against the Duggars, though not exclusively. Many note the Duggars prominent role in opposing equal treatment for gay people, particularly in their financial and political role in defeating a Fayetteville civil rights ordinance. Josh  Duggar's mother, Michelle, made robocalls in support of repeal. That message said, in part:

“Males with past child predator convictions [could] claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls. I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space. …. “Parents, who do you want undressing next to your daughter at the public swimming pool’s private changing area?” ” 

Josh Duggar was accused of molesting multiple young girls while they slept in the family's home. The family said he received "counseling" as a result and had apologized to the girls. A police investigation begun after the tip from Oprah was concluded without charges because of statute of limitations.

Duggar, who'd become a national lobbyist for the Family Research Council, a right-wing group that has led anti-gay causes, resigned that job after the controversy exploded yesterday. The Duggars took steps to get the police report about the matter destroyed, but only after it had been widely disseminated.

Deadline Hollywood is among media outlets raising questions about the future of the Duggar TV franchise.

It was just seven months ago that TLC managed to wipe some of the ick off its image caused by the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo child molester storyline with a record-setting rating for a super-wholesome 19 Kids And Counting Duggar family wedding episode. Today the network was “no comment”-ing press inquiries about the future of the latter series when molestation allegations surfaced about one of its regulars.

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