When TLC general manager Nancy Daniels introduced a panel for the network's upcoming series "Single Dad Seeking" at Thursday's Television Critics Association press tour, she reportedly was contrite about media questions regarding the Josh Duggar sex scandal and eventual canceling of "19 Kids And Counting" in July.
Cast member and eldest son Josh Duggar was discovered to have sexually molested teenage girls, including his sisters Jill and Jessa, who also were cast members on the show.
One viewer, Elizabeth Sanders, asked the network Thursday to "please keep the Duggars off of TV!!! They are a disgrace to Christianity!"
Addressing Duggar's sex scandal, Daniels said, "We have had our challenges. As soon as we found out about [Josh Duggar], we did work with the family."
"These are people who had something happening in their lives a long time ago. We took the show off the air and immediately connected with two well-respected agencies to figure out the appropriate response. And one of those responses was the documentary to put the word out about a situation that doesn't really get talked about," added Daniels, as highlighted by Perez Hilton.
"Every decision we've made has been done very thoughtfully and very carefully about what is in the best interests of the people involved and the network," Daniels said in Variety.
"Our first priority is making sure that there's a health and well-being of our families first and foremost. We feature stories of different families with real people and real things happen."
TLC aired Breaking The Silence, a special about sexual abuse in response to Josh's revelations in addition to canceling the Duggars' show.
"We just aired the three specials during the holidays. They did very well. The audience clearly cares about these girls" said Daniels, citing a 3 million viewership of the special.
Regarding more episodes or a series centering around the sisters, Daniels said, "We're still talking and considering it, but we have not made a decision yet."
One Variety reader posted online Friday that "TLC used to stand for The Learning Channel. Not anymore. TLC exploits these people. People tune in to see the train wrecks. TLC is only interested in the money. The next scandal is Sister Wives. Take this crap off the air too. This show exploits women and children. Where else can you watch a man with multiple women and 18 kids profit from polygamy. TLC of course. Polygamy is still illegal in the U.S. Would this show still be on the air if this was a family of color?"
Another online poster had a different perspective about the Duggar sisters: "Ms. Daniels, clearly more people don't care about these 'girls.' They are grown women who have not been educated and rely on others to pay their way. Don't you read what is being said about them? Don't you see the hypocrisy in this family? They are not entertaining..stop embarrassing yourself and TLC ."