It’s been over three years since the worst of Josh Duggar’s scandals almost erased the Duggar family from the reality TV landscape. Since then, other than a quick trip to sex addiction rehab, he’s largely kept quiet (and been kept away from cameras). But he’s been creeping back into Duggar family social media feeds for months — so is Josh Duggar now getting an image rehab, as well?
Recall that Josh completely disappeared from public view in the summer of 2015, in the wake of his Ashley Madison and childhood molestation scandals. He apparently kept his head down working at the family’s used car lot. And when TLC spun Counting On off of the canceled 19 Kids and Counting, Josh had to be edited from footage shot at family gatherings.
But the first test balloon went up last November, when photos including Josh appeared on Duggar family social media pages. The outcry was minor, meaning that Josh began showing up more and more often. By early 2018, he could be seen in the family’s congratulatory video following Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo’s pregnancy announcement. Josh even starred in his own video when the family publicized its fete for his 30th birthday:
Then came Josh and Anna’s ten-year wedding anniversary, for which a celebration really was a surprise. (The photo at the top of the article is the one Anna shared to mark the occasion.)
And a year after his social media reappearance, Josh looked practically elated to be front and center at the Duggars’ ugly / Christmas sweater party:
So what, exactly, is the deal with Josh Duggar now? Did he and Anna really have a sixth baby in secret this year, and Josh is simply smiling for his new child? Is the Duggar family working to mount a proper TV comeback, one to which Josh (and maybe even Derick Dillard) will be invited?
To be sure, rumors about Josh’s return to TV, via Counting On, have swirled since last autumn, and only grow in intensity with the announcement of each new season. Anna continues to appear on the show from time to time, as do four of her five known children. It therefore seems at least possible that Josh will one day rise from the ashes 19 Kids and Counting and grace TV screens again. When that day does come, a full-on, high-profile Duggar likely won’t be far behind.
(Photo credits: Josh Duggar now via Instagram, Facebook; h/t The Hollywood Gossip)
John Sharp is a Starcasm’s chief editorial correspondent-at-large. Tips: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @john_starcasm.