It’s been over two years since the world learned that Josh Duggar molested five young women, four of whom were his sisters.
By now, you likely know the story of how his family was able to move on from one of the most appalling celebrity scandals in recent memory:
TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting, the reality show that made the Duggars famous, but the family was welcomed back to the network just months later with a spinoff originally entitled Counting On.
Parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar reportedly assured network execs that Josh would never be featured on the new series.
Thus far, they’ve kept that promise, but they’ve also made attempts at rehabilitating Josh’s image on their popular social media pages.
Earlier this month, Josh and wife Anna welcomed their fifith child, and the Duggars apparently saw the birth as a golden opportunity to convince the public that Josh is more than just a sexual predator.
Predictably, the attempt backfired.
Fans slammed Josh on social media and excoriated his family for encouraging a known abuser to continue having children.
Now, it seems the Duggars are backing away from their strategy and once again distancing themselves from Josh.
Following news of Mason Duggar’s birth, Josh and his family were featured as the banner image on the Duggars’ official Facebook page.
Now they’ve been replaced by newlyweds Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell (even Joseph and Kendra got married before Josh and Anna welcomed Mason).
In the past, the Duggars’ banner images have remained in place for weeks, or even months at a time.
So why was Josh and Anna’s time atop the page so short-lived?
For the answer, we need look no further than the most recent fan comments on the Duggars’ profile.
“We are sad that you have given Josh another chance,” a fan wrote underneath the picture.
“He doesn’t deserve it and Anna is not to blame at all […] She has beautiful kids and she should get them away from Josh.”
“People say Josh went to rehab and I will be honest here,” wrote another follower.
“I have 4 children. If my son molested his siblings I don’t care what therapy he received I would NEVER trust him again. PERIOD. My kids mental and physical well-being comes first,” she added.
As you can see, the reaction to the Duggars’ efforts to reintroduce Josh have been less than favorable.
It seems that the experiment made Jim Bob and Michelle realize that any attempt to rehabilitate Josh’s image would just result in them being brought down with him.
We think it’s safe to say they won’t be making any further efforts to repair their eldest sons’ battered reputation anytime soon.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.