LOS ANGELES – It is no surprise that TLC has had a rocky few years as various shows. Shows like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “19 Kids and Counting” were both abruptly canceled after child molestation scandals. On Thursday, Nancy Daniels, general manager for TLC, spoke at the Television Critics Association winter press panel and tried to defend the network despite the negative publicity it’s received over the past several years.
“The first priority with all of our shows is making sure that there is health and wellbeing of our family, first and foremost,” Daniels shared. “And for well over 10 years, TLC has been featuring stories of different families, real lives, real things happening and with real people real things happen.”
In 2014, TLC cancelled “Honey Boo Boo” after a story surfaced claiming June Shannon—aka Mama June—was dating a convicted child molester. The show was one of the highest-rated shows for TLC in its first season.
Then, in summer 2015, it was revealed that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s son, Josh, was sexually inappropriate with several of his younger sisters as well as a babysitter when he was 15-years-old. “19 Kids and Counting” was suspended by the network in May, but TLC remained silent about the scandal until the network eventually canceled the show in July.
The network was criticized for its slow response.
“As soon as we found out about it, we did immediately circle back with the family,” she revealed. “These are real people that had something happen in their lives a long time ago that we were working with them to figure out what had happened and how we handled that.”
Daniels defended the network’s handling of the Duggar scandal.
“Every decision we have made along the way we have made very thoughtfully and carefully with the best interest of the people and of the network involved.”
TLC aired a documentary about sexual abuse in August 2015.
More recently in December 2015, the network brought some of the Duggar women back for a special titled “Jill & Jessa: Counting On.”