11:58am PT by Kate Stanhope
'19 Kids and Counting' Loses Advertisers Following Josh Duggar Scandal
Advertisers are decamping from 19 Kids and Counting days after star Josh Duggar admitted to molesting several underage girls 12 years ago, including his sisters.
Choice Hotels International disclosed Tuesday morning that it has decided to pull advertising from all future episodes of the reality show. Payless ShoeSource also revealed Tuesday that it is in the process of removing its ads from the program.
@moaevil Thank you for reaching out. We share your concerns and we have decided to remove our advertising from the show.— Choice Hotels (@ChoiceHotels) May 26, 2015
@SweetBabbyJesus Our ads ran during this show as part of a larger buy w/ TLC. We are taking steps to have them removed from future episodes.— Payless ShoeSource (@PaylessInsider) May 26, 2015
A General Mills spokesperson confirmed that the company has removed 19 Kids and Counting from its current advertising schedule. As of Tuesday morning, Walgreens said they planned to "monitor the situation," according to it's official Facebook page. However, a spokesperson for the chain said late Tuesday that "in the wake of recent news, we are no longer advertising on the 19 Kids and Counting program."
TLC announced Friday that the network was yanking the long-running reality show from its schedule. “Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” the network said in a statement. TLC has not commented further on the situation.
News of Duggar's past actions surfaced Thursday and the 27-year-old, who is now married with three children, immediately issued a statement apologizing. "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," he said. "I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation."
According to a 2006 police report published by In Touch, his parents reported the incidents to the police but charges were never filed.
In addition to his statement, the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar resigned his position as a lobbyist with the Family Research Council (FRC), an organization dedicated to preserving family values in America.
It remains to be seen if TLC will take further action against 19 Kids and Counting, which has been on the air since 2008 and is currently in its 15th season. In October, the network canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo shortly after allegations surfaced about a romantic relationship between series matriarch June "Mama June" Shannon and a man convicted of child molestation.
May 26, 12:33 p.m. Updated to reflect General Mills' confirmation.
May 26, 2:30 p.m. Updated to reflect that Walgreens will no longer be advertising on the series.