Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar address ‘Duggar Family Secrets’

June 4, 2023 12:49 pm

[Source: CNN Entertainment]

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are pushing back on a new docuseries being billed as “exposing the truth beneath the wholesome Americana surface of reality tv’s favorite mega-family.”

“Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets,” which debuted Friday on Prime Video, delves into both the lives and the beliefs of the stars of the former TLC series “19 Kids and Counting.” (CNN and TLC are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

The matriarch and patriarch of the Duggar family posted a note on their website stating, “The recent ‘documentary’ that talks about our family is sad because in it we see the media and those with ill intentions hurting people we love.”

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“Like other families, ours too has experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life, just in a very public format,” the note reads. “This ‘documentary’ paints so much and so many in a derogatory and sensationalized way because sadly that’s the direction of entertainment these days.”

As part of a religious organization called The Institute in Basic Life Principles, the family adhered to strict teachings, including prohibiting the use of birth control, family supervised courtship before marriage and modest dress for women and girls.

CNN has reached out to The Institute for comment.

The show was canceled in 2015 when allegations surfaced that eldest son, Josh Duggar, had molested several of his family members as a teen.

While he was never charged in relation to those allegations, Duggar was found guilty in 2021 of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography and later sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.

His family also starred, without him, in the series “Counting On,” which was canceled in 2021.

Some of the family members have shared their individual stories.

Daughter Jinger Duggar Vuolo recently published her memoir, “Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear.” Another daughter, Jill Duggar, appears with her husband Derick Dillard in the docuseries.

“We have always believed that the best chance to repair damaged relationships, or to reconcile differences, is through love in a private setting,” Jim and Michelle Duggar write in their note.

“We love every member of our family and will continue to do all we can to have a good relationship with each one,” the note concludes. “Through both the triumphs and the trials we have clung to our faith all the more and discovered that through the love and grace of Jesus, we find strength, comfort, and purpose.”