TLC Network recently cancelled its popular reality show “19 Kids and Counting” following the public revelation of child molestation allegations against Josh Duggar, the son of the program’s stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
The scandal erupted nearly two months ago with police reports and an apology from Josh Duggar, who was accused of molesting five young girls, including his sisters, when he was 15.
Allegations of sexual misconduct, and especially assaults against children, are almost always incredibly controversial, leading to harmed children and tarnished reputations.
Following the cancellation of their TV show, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar released a public statement. From a purely PR perspective (without weighing in at all from a legal or moral perspective), it was a solid statement.
In their text the Duggars managed to avoid mentioning the salacious topic of the alleged assault, referring to it in an oblique manner. The statement was overwhelmingly positive and upbeat in its tone, without a trace of bitterness toward either their son or the network that had just eliminated their jobs.
Whoever authored the statement (whether the Duggars themselves or a PR professional who provided assistance), it succeeded in capturing the voice of Billy Bob and his wife. It did not read like a canned statement, and anyone who has seen 19 Kids and Counting before could easily picture the Duggars actually speaking those words.
They graciously thanked TLC’s crew for their work on the show, acknowledged the support from their fans, and included a number of references to God, underscoring their religious devotion.
The scandal brought a sudden and shocking end to a TV show that captured America’s curiosity and attention. Where the Duggars go from here God only knows…