Now that TLC has canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and 19 Kids and Counting because of cast members' ties to child sex crimes, the network has begun to care about the issue.
In an attempt to recover from their damaged reputation, TLC is airing a documentary about child sexual abuse on Sunday, August 30.
The commercial-free documentary was announced shortly after the hit series 19 Kids and Counting was canceled amid a storm of controversy.
One of the show's stars, Josh Duggar, admitted to molesting five underage girls, including at least two of his sisters, as a teenager.
According to a press release, the upcoming documentary is “an effort to promote education, raise awareness, and advance the conversation on this important matter.”
Partnering with RAINN and Darkness to Light, two of leading abuse prevention organizations, the film will feature narratives from survivors of sexual abuse.
“The one-hour documentary is built around the personal and emotional stories of brave survivors who have found the courage to come forward,” Thursday’s statement said.
Earlier this year, TLC President Marjorie Kaplan told the AP:
“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.”
TLC has greatly suffered since canceling 19 Kids and Counting. Discovery Communications CFO Andy Warren claimed TLC lost $19 million since the show was axed.
So to recover, the documentary will feature adult, married daughters Jill and Jessa Duggar who starred on the reality show.
Jill and Jessa have previously spoken about their struggles to cope with being molested by their brother:
“My dad explained to us, he said, ‘You know there’s a difference between forgiveness and trust. That’s not the same thing,’” Jill said in an interview on Fox News.
“You know, you forgive someone and then you have boundaries. Forgiveness with boundaries. Trust comes later. Josh destroyed that trust at the beginning, and so he had to rebuild that.”
She added, “I think when he came back, that was ... the point of rebuilding.”
In the aftermath of his crimes, Josh apologized for his actions via the family’s Facebook page. “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regretful,” he wrote.
“I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”
It took two months for TLC to watch the PR nightmare play out and cancel the show. But in July, after 15 seasons, execs pulled the plug.