By now, most people know of the train wreck occurring within the famous Duggar family with the acknowledgement from their oldest son Josh over molestation accusations.
Already, there are parodies and satires coming out, and as the facts pour in, it does not look good for the Duggar media empire that is beginning to crumble around them.
I have to main questions: Did the Duggar’s reveal to the television network that their son Josh had admitted to child molestation before they signed the contract for what would prove to be their widely popular reality show? Did the Duggar’s have a moral or even legal duty to disclose the crimes of their then teenaged son to the cable network before the airing of the reality show?
This is critical, because if the network knew of these serious charges before going into the contract, they obviously knew the risks they were taking if word of these damaging allegations and accompanying confession came to light.
This raises serious questions in my mind whether or not the Duggar’s disclosed to Discovery Health the existence of their son’s known crimes or to TLC (The Learning Channel), the cable and satellite television network who airs the wildly popular Duggar series.
Many of the advertisers, though, are voting with their feet and have bolted from supporting the series, showing that this unfortunate and tragic episode for the Duggar’s will not leave them unscathed.
If the Duggar’s were simply a normal American family, a reasoned case can be made that says they certainly did not have any duty to tell anybody, outside of law enforcement, the victims and their families, that their son committed these heinous crimes.
But the Duggar’s are not your normal, American family…far from it. They are celebrities and role models, revered and looked up to by many. The Duggar’s, by appearing on the cable program, doing interviews, and choosing to be high-profile members of the Christian community, have set for themselves a much higher standard than what the rest of average America might be expected to abide by.
Please don’t get the wrong impression with my above paragraph that I am suggesting that average Americans are exempt from teenaged sex crimes—nothing of the sort. I am referring to the responsibility that the Duggars have due to their celebrity and moral authority status in reporting this crime to the cable station that aired their series.
I feel for this family and for any family that passes through such horrific waters. And for Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the awful weight of responsibility that comes with being media stars will now fully descend upon their shoulders. And when all the dust has settled, they may look back on this amazing opportunity to share with the world their family values (and not counting all the money and perks they have received) and decide it was not worth it.