In one of our previous Red Banyan crisis management blogs we discussed the scandal that enveloped the Duggar family after the allegations erupted of Josh Duggar molesting five underage girls as a teenager, including his two sisters.
Just three month after the ugly sex abuse allegations came to light Josh Duggar is back under fire. After infidelity site Ashley Madison was hacked and the personal details of its customers published online, Josh Duggar was among the names, and he stepped forward with an apology admitting to extramarital affairs.
Red Banyan Group evaluated the Duggar family’s previous public statement, concluding that, from a purely PR perspective, it was quite successful in mitigating the devastating reputational damage dealt to the Duggar brand. Today, we are taking a critical look at Josh’s personal apology.
As a part of his damage control Josh Duggar issued a statement saying in part: “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.” Duggar also noted: “I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.”
While we are certainly not seeking to cast a positive light on his behavior, our assessment is that the Josh Duggar statement is a mea culpa done right. In his release, Josh acknowledges his misdeeds and takes full responsibility for his actions. By getting out in front on this issue and addressing it head on, he is helping to soften the blow that would have been visited upon him had he not come clean.
Moreover, by harshly criticizing himself, he is removing the sting from comments on this topic that could come from detractors. After all, they would be hard-pressed to say more negative things about him than what he has already said about himself.