TLC has yanked reruns of its popular franchise 19 Kids and Counting in the wake of allegations that a family member molested five underage girls as a teen.
“TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air,” said the network 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.”
The network’s swift decision to pull episodes of the unscripted series about the Duggar Family comes just 24 hours after news surfaced regarding Josh Duggar, the 27-year-old son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Josh Duggar told PEOPLE that he “acted inexcusably” 12 years ago as a younger teenager.
“I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he said in a statement. “I confessed this situation to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed by 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.”
Josh Duggar also resigned his position with the Family Research Council as a result of the revelations. Within hours, Twitter exploded with calls to yank the series. TLC had scheduled a marathon overnight.
19 Kids and Counting has reigned as one of TLC’s most successful franchises since 2008, when it originally premiered. (Back then, it was called 17 Kids and Counting.) In fact, the series just aired its 225th episode on May 12. It was an offshoot of TLC’s 14 Children and Pregnant Again, which was the Duggars’ first special for the cable net in 2004.