It’s been a rough year or so for TLC. First, it axed Here Comes Honey Boo Boo after the show’s matriarch was found to be dating a child molester.
Then, TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting, one of their most popular shows, after Josh Duggar confessed to molesting five underage girls.
It’s time for the network to build a better reputation, and the network’s president Marjorie Kaplan is doing that by speaking out against child abuse.
Kaplan, who heads TLC, Animal Planet, and Velocity, claims Josh’s molestation crimes awakened her to the severity of child abuse issues in the United States.
She told the Associated Press on Thursday that she was “completely unaware” of how pervasive child abuse is.
Does she live in a cave???
"I have learned a lot about this issue since," Kaplan said, reminding folks of there terrifying statistic that one in 10 kids are victims of sexual abuse.
"This is a fundamental problem in this country, so we've become quite passionate about making sure that we educate people," Kaplan explained.
She continues, ”We feel like we have a real obligation and an opportunity to create a moment here for people to be educated and for victims to find ways to come forward.”
Moments after TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting, RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) announced its new partnership with TLC.
"We are pleased to be partnering with TLC to fight child sexual abuse, and appreciate its efforts to spur a national dialogue about this issue," RAINN told Us Weekly.
A spokesperson for the organization added, ”Child sexual abuse affects millions of families across the nation, and we all have a responsibility to work together to end it."
"We spent the past month and a half in thoughtful consideration about what is the best way forward here," she admitted. "We anticipate this will be a long-term partnership with them.”
TLC is also joining forces with Darkness to Light, another organization that provides protection for children who are victims of sexual abuse.
"We took it as an opportunity to step further than just 'How do we protect ourselves?' and step into 'How do we protect our audience and protect children?'" Kaplan stated.
Of course, this couldn't be a strategy to save their reputation...could it???
"Our hope is to do more of that, in a way that's thoughtful and respectful of the victims of child abuse - in the Duggar family and across America.”
In addition to their new partnerships, the network is planning a documentary that covers the issue of sexual abuse.
"The goal is to take what has been a difficult and painful experience, and focus that attention on the really critical issue of child protection and child sexual abuse," Kaplan said.
Of course, Jessa and Jill Duggar have expressed interested in being in TLC’s documentary: ”They're interested in putting the focus on this issue, too," Kaplan revealed.
Let’s hope TLC keeps talking about the issue and leaves the Duggars somewhere in Arkansas, out of the spotlight.