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Hulu removed episodes of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting from its streaming service on Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, in the wake of allegations that star Josh Duggar molested several underage girls—including his sisters—12 years ago.
The series was available for streaming on Hulu as recently as Friday, but a search on Thursday morning revealed that Hulu now is redirecting users to TLC’s website to watch full episodes. Those full episodes, however, have been removed from TLC.com as well (only clips of the show are currently available on TLC’s website). Many of TLC’s other big-name shows are still available for streaming on Hulu.
TLC parent company Discovery Communications currently doesn’t have streaming deals with Amazon Prime or Netflix. CEO David Zaslav said of the Netflix deal, as recently as December, that the companies still were talking about a new pact.
As of Thursday morning, episodes of 19 Kids and Counting, as well as full seasons, were still available for download on iTunes and Amazon. TLC, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon have not responded yet to The Hollywood Reporter‘s requests for comment.
Hulu’s move comes amid an exodus of advertisers from the reality show, which has yet to be canceled outright by TLC even after the network tentatively removed it from its programming schedule.
TLC pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting from the air on Friday, saying in a statement: “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.” Since then, nearly a dozen companies have pulled their advertising from future episodes of the TLC reality show. CVS Pharmacy, Ace Hardware, ConAgra Foods, Pure Leaf Iced Tea, Behr Paint, Ricola, Party City, General Mills, Walgreens, Payless ShoeSource and Choice Hotels all have parted ways with the TLC series.
News of Duggar’s alleged past behavior leaked last Thursday, and the 27-year-old, who’s now married with three children, immediately apologized for his “wrongdoing.”
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. 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,” said Duggar. “We spoke with the authorities, where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
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 has become one of the cable channel’s biggest brands over the course of the show’s 15-season run.
Kate Stanhope contributed to this report.
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