TLC may not continue with hit series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” after news of June “Mama June” Shannon’s relationship with a man who was convicted of molesting a young relative of the star surfaced on Thursday.
A show representative released the following statement to press: “TLC is not currently in production on ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.’ We are very concerned about this new information and are reassessing the future of the series.”
The network had previously planned a fifth season return for the Authentic Entertainment-produced series — which features child beauty pageant contestant Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and her family’s misadventures in McIntyre, Georgia — in January 2015, an individual close to production told TheWrap.
But, that return is now in jeopardy after TMZ reported that Shannon is carrying on a relationship with Mark McDaniel, a 53-year-old who served 10 years in prison for molesting an eight-year-old relative of Shannon’s. The abuse of the child included forced oral sex. McDaniel was released in March and he’s now a registered sex offender in Georgia.
The site reports that Shannon was dating McDaniel at the time of abuse and that she currently remains in contact with the victim — who would be at least 18 years old now.
Previously, Shannon was in a relationship with Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson, Alanna’s father. They finally married after nine years together in September 2013, which aired on the TLC show. A year later in September 2014, the couple announced their separation.
“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” a spinoff of TLC’s child pageant series “Toddlers and Tiaras,” has been under fire from those who opposed child beauty pageants and the show’s portrayal of Southern life, since it premiered in August 2012. In June, Discovery issued an apology after a profanity-laden episode of the series aired in the UK. But, this new controversy may be something the series won’t recover from.
“Honey Boo Boo” has been a consistent ratings winner for TLC. Its premiere episode earned a 1.6 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, attracting 2.2 million viewers. The August 29, 2012 episode, which aired during the Republican National Convention, made news when it attracted nearly 3 million viewers and earned a 1.3 rating among the advertiser demo, beating Fox News convention coverage’s 1.2 rating and NBC’s convention coverage rating of a 1.1.