When chatter began about June Shannon, “Mama June” on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and her alleged romantic relationship with a man not only convicted of child molestation but possibly guilty of molesting her own daughter, TLC wasted no time canceling the show.
Each day it seems, new and more disturbing details emerge about the situation, with the latest photos suggesting that Mama June let Honey Boo Boo (aka Alana Thompson, nine years old) spend time with Mark McDaniel, who is a registered sex offender in Georgia.
TLC clearly did not want to wait for this situation to get any worse before taking action.
First and foremost, this is the thing to do simply because it’s right. TLC said in a statement when the cancellation was announced:
TLC has canceled 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.
(This post includes a video statement from Mama June denying any romantic involvement with McDaniel.)
If you recall the situation with Duck Dynasty, first A&E suspended Phil Robertson for his offensive comments (long after they were made), then brought him back when viewers got angry, then saw the ratings drop anyway.
In the case of Honey Boo Boo, there appears to be no equivocation. Not to be cynical, but it could also be because the TLC show is past its prime. The Hollywood Reporter puts the height of the show’s popularity as summer 2012.
But more than that, the show’s popularity is based on the fact that, though they’re a unique family with unique ways (to put it one way), fans were drawn to the love and respect they had for one another. With the family disintegrating, that magic is also gone. Mama June separated from her husband Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson, Anna Marie Cardwell has spoken with People magazine about being molested and the coverage of the show has now turned ugly.
In the end, TLC’s swift action was the only way to handle this toxic situation. Now we all have to hope that the family will come out on the other end of this happy and healthy. And because reality TV loves a redemption story, we may yet see the Honey Boo Boos back on TV again in the future.