Since 19 Kids and Counting was canceled by TLC network last summer, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have kept a relatively low profile.
Because of their role in covering up Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal, and their perceived hypocrisy in general, the parents took a PR hit.
Gradually, the family recovered from the setback and returned to reality TV with Jill & Jessa: Counting On (later renamed Counting On).
Jill, Jessa, Jinger Duggar and the other adult kids, along with their coming-of-age siblings, have emerged as the new family focal point.
Josh Duggar, obviously, is nowhere to be seen, although his long-suffering wife Anna has discussed the state of their marriage at times.
Until this season, Jim Bob and Michelle had made themselves scarce as well, until a recent cameo that the duo may now be rethinking.
If you watch Counting On online, you saw the patriarch and matriarch chilling with Jessa and Ben Seewald, Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo.
It was one thing when Jeremy asked Jim Bob’s permission to start courting Jinger. Milestones like that are important and he is central to them.
A lot of fans weren’t happy to see the couple’s renewed role, however – and man alive, did they let social media hear about it after the fact.
“It was told that if the show came back on, the parents would not be on there,” one angry fan wrote on the show’s official Facebook page.
NOTE: It’s unclear if this is actually true. TLC has denied reports of Josh Duggar returning to TV, but hasn’t discussed Jim Bob and Michelle.
“Keep the parents off the show!” Duggar hater #149 demanded.
“They are the reason that Josh is in the shape that he is now.”
That is familiar refrain, and the reason for their self-exile.
The Duggars’ controversial rules for dating, courting and life have always found their share of detractors, but in light of Josh’s scandals?
Everything they do is doubly polarizing, if not more so.
As such, they’re hearing it from the fandom now.
Another fan who loves Jinger, Jill and company, but can’t stand the sight of the people who gave them life, added the following:
“Get those disgusting parents off the show! At least Josh is no longer on the show. [TLC] should be ashamed of itself.”
“I will no longer watch this show.”
Some Duggar fans even accused the couple of “wiggling their [way] back” into the limelight and “making a dime” out of their kids.
Sound about right.
“I have no desire to see Jim Bob and the wife!” yet another angry fan commented after their Counting On Season 3 Episode 2 appearance.
“I thought ‘Counting On’ [was] going to be about the girls and their lives and the parents weren’t allowed to be on the show.”
One viewer said, “I have lost all respect for the parents after finding out they knew the whole time Josh molested his sisters.”
However, not all online comments were mean towards Jim Bob and Michelle; Duggar Nation remains behind them, at least in part.
Some of those who have been with 19 Kids and Counting since the start liked that the patriarch and matriarch were back in the mix.
One enthusiastic fan wrote:
“Loved this week’s episode! So happy for Jinger! And I loved seeing Michelle & Jim Bob again! I hope to see more of the entire family together again!”
Another fan added: “Thank you so much for showing the whole family on tonight’s episode. My heart was filled with joy to see them all!”
What do you think? Yay or nay to Michelle and Jim Bob appearing alongside their kids more often, less often, or not in a million years?
Hit the comments to tell us.