Why you should care that TLC cancelled “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”

The mother of Alana Thompson (Honey Boo Boo) has taken to Facebook to answer questions about the controversy surrounding her alleged relationship with a convicted child molester. “Mama” June Shannon read a statement denying any recent involvement with Mark McDaniel, saying the relationship ended a decade ago when he went to prison for molesting a relative of hers.

June Shannon’s daughter, 14 year old “Pumpkin,” told RadarOnline Thursday, that the stories swirling around the relationship are untrue and that a photograph purporting to show the her mom spooning with the man in question was “Photoshopped.”

Nevertheless, The Learning Channel Friday morning released the following statement:

“TLC has cancelled the series HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately.  Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.”

The reality show starring Alana “Honey Boo Boo”, Lauryn “Pumpkin”, Jessica “Chubbs”, Anna “Chickadee”, June “Mama”, Mike “SugarBear” and Baby Kaitlyn met its demise in perhaps the same way it saw success, that is by word of mouth. More people have heard of the show than have actually watched it. They were bombarded by raucous trailers and made snap decisions whether that brand of TV was ‘entertainment’. The show is somewhat polarizing leaving people to wonder if this was a slice of Americana or just the ratings starved media dishing to the lowest common denominator of the available viewing audience.

Daytime TV took to taking about the controversy. On THE TALK, co-host Aisha Tyler said she doesn’t watch the show but was appalled at the thought of a woman putting her family in danger by dating a convicted pedophile. “This is a sickness that never goes away!” she said. Sharon Osborne, who has been somewhat critical of Honey Boo Boo’s exposure since she was 7, felt it inconceivable that Mama June would endanger her children in such a way. Osborne said she would not even begin to think of who would watch that show if it were allowed to continue.

McDaniel reportedly got out of prison in March of this year, having served ten years for sexually molesting Mama June’s an 8-year old niece. In the reality show, mama June had an ongoing relationship with Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson but that relationship ended in September when June reportedly caught Sugar Bear trolling the Internet for other women. This opened the door for the rumors that June was getting back with her pedophile boyfriend, albeit reports point to that relationship being dormant over the years McDaniel was in prison.

This summer has seen a ratings drop for HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO.  The star’s bratty behavior, which at first endeared her to her diehard fans appears to have run its course. Fans started calling for the show’s cancellation after the eight year old reportedly acted like a “monster” shocking the audience during a taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Fans fired up social media saying the bratty kid ‘crossed the line” when she struck her mother during the taping. I saw the video, she was acting pretty much the same way she always had for years. Here appearance on Dr. Drew two years ago was much worse. But perhaps  the public is finally realizing that celebrating such behavior in a 9 year old is unhealthy.

But what constitutes a threshold for such programming to become unpopular despite behavior is the interjection of child endangerment though sexual abuse. At least a line is drawn then it comes to pedophilia.


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