The Duggar family of regularly documents their missions and charitable acts on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, but a new story has some wondering just how much of it is TV fakery.
A new photo slideshow on Radar Online claims to show as the family “blatantly staged a charity scene” at the Compassion Center in Springdale, Arkansas. (They are pictured there at top.)
Join us tonight at 6:45pm at the Compassion Center in Springdale to give out food to families in need! @CompassionNWA
— The Duggar Family (@duggarfam) April 27, 2015
The event was heavily hyped by both the Duggars and the Cross Church food bank, which displayed a poster advertising the family’s appearance. However, Radar reports that when the family arrived (half an hour late, on Duggar time) there was only one family shopping for clothes. They were allegedly approached by producers and asked if they would participate in the segment by pretending to need food.
One witness claimed to hear a producer lecture the needy family on their role: “Let’s go over this… You’re really happy that the Duggars have brought you this food, you really need this for your family.”
When they agreed, camera crews filmed the Duggar family walking into the food bank with boxes three times to get the right shot. Jim Bob Duggar then shared a story with the other family about how he had to cook rice in a jar intended for decoration when he was growing up because they were poor. He reportedly added, “That was our dinner!”
The meeting ended when one of the Duggar sons placed a box of food in the other family’s car — but then put it back in the Duggars’ SUV once crews got the right shot.
This isn’t the first time the Duggars have been accused of bending the truth for TV: Just last season, the family obscured the fact that Jana Duggar went along on Josh and Anna Duggar’s road trip. In the episode, Josh and Anna made a big deal about how it was their first “solo” trip with the kids. Then again, those are all relatively minor fabrications for reality TV standards… As far as we know, they are actually conservative Christians who do traditional courting and save front hugs for marriage.