TLC Confirms '19 Kids and Counting' Pulled from Schedule After Child Molestation Accusations

"We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation," said the network in a statement

Photo: TLC

TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting from its schedule amid reports that Josh Duggar was once accused of molesting five underage girls as a teen.

The network released a statement on Friday: “Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. 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.”

On Thursday, TLC was met with outrage on social media when it aired a marathon of 19 Kids. According to TV Guide listings, the network had scheduled five episodes of 19 Kids to air throughout next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as during the first week of June. TLC’s website, however, no longer lists either those or any other airings of the show on its schedule.

Josh, 27, responded to the resurfaced allegations in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE on Thursday.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he said. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my 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 resigned his position at Christian lobbying group the Family Research Council after the news broke Thursday.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wrote a lengthy Facebook post defending the Duggars on Friday, but former TLC star June “Mama June” Shannon told TMZ that she thinks the family’s reality show should be canceled. (The network yanked Here Comes Honey Boo Boo off the air after allegations that Shannon was dating a man who molested her daughter Anna Marie Cardwell.)

Josh’s wife Anna, 26, and parents, Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle, 48, also released statements supporting him.

“Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God,” the 19 Kids and Counting couple told PEOPLE. “We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family.”

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