James J. Lee, the gunman who held three employees of Discovery Communications hostage before he was shot and killed by police Wednesday, had previously targeted the company for airing programs that encouraged “human growth and procreation.” Lee reportedly ran a website called savetheplanetprotest.com, which among other rants, implored the cable giant to “stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs’ places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.”
Lee, who was arrested in 2008 for disorderly conduct for protesting outside of Discovery, went on to address the cable giant by writing, “you MUST KNOW the human population is behind all the pollution and problems in the world, and YET you encourage the exact opposite instead of discouraging human growth and procreation.”
TLC offers a wide variety of unscripted, lifestyle programming but their shows about uniquely large families have helped to brand the network as a prime destination for female viewers. Jon and Kate Plus 8 – which has evolved into a series of specials called Kate Plus 8 – are among TLC’s most-watched shows. Besides airing 19 Kids and Counting, Table for 12, and Quints By Surprise, TLC plans to bolster its lineup of shows about large families by premiering Sextuplets Take New York on Sept. 14 and a seven-part series about polygamists called Sister Wives on Sept. 26.
A Discovery spokeswoman declined to comment about Lee, and the company is not releasing the identities of the hostages, all of whom were released unharmed. Discovery has, however, posted a statement on its blog written by employee Jim McNulty, who was held hostage. In the post, McNulty thanks law enforcement officials for securing his and his fellow hostages’ release, as well as Discovery for its support, and says due to the ongoing criminal investigation, he will not be commenting further.