A friend of mine once told me he was in the “Zero Population Growth” movement, which believes that it’s our environmental duty not to have biological children. I’d never heard of that before he told me about it and thought that it wouldn’t deter me from having one or two children, but I didn’t tell him that and just said “mmhmm.” (He was married and it wasn’t like he was trying to tell me on a date that he wasn’t into having kids.) Later I took a sustainable living course and we had a unit on this issue. The chapters were essays by different environmental experts, and the consensus on children was that if you had one or two kids and raised them to be environmentally conscious you weren’t necessarily negatively affecting the environment.
The Duggar Family, with their soon-to-be 19 kids, are another matter. They have more children than handfuls of average families put together, and the environmental impact of all those children is something that many people consider to be a serious offense. E! Online has some more on the Duggar’s huge footprint, along with how much they’re likely to make for their TLC reality show per week – an estimated $25,000 to $75,000. E! kind of glosses over the environmental issue as it relates to the Duggar’s anti-science anti-evolution belief system. This is an argument I’ve heard before about the Duggars, though, and one that isn’t always presented nicely. Some say that statistically half of their 18 kids wouldn’t be living without the advances of modern science they seem to so readily dismiss:
How much do the Duggars get for their reality show? For me, the show is like an accident—you just have to look.
—Nicole_Tafoya, via Twitter
An “accident”? How cruel! Children are a gift from God! Right now, those 18 kids—soon to be 19—are blessing the planet with an estimated 1.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide as an environmental legacy! And just in case you need help with your science homework, every one of those little angels stands ready to explain how evolution is a lie. You’re just mean.
As for how much the Duggars are making off TLC network via their show, 18 Kids and Counting, well, hold on to your Bibles…
Networks usually won’t disclose the deals they make with individual families. But according to reality producer Terence Michael, the general rule of thumb is that reality-show families earn about 10 percent of a show’s per-episode budget. So, if TLC budgets about $250,000 to $400,000 per episode—and Michael suspects it does—that would mean $25,000 to $40,000 in the Duggars’ pockets for four or five days’ work, which is roughly how long it takes to film a typical episode.
If the 18 Kids and Counting show grows even more popular, the Duggars’ pay goes up as the show’s budget rises. The show budget for the Gosselins is reported to be much higher, with some reports estimating that those Plus Eight people rake in $75,000 per episode.
Bonus nugget: Does that mean that the Ace of Cakes dude makes the same kind of money? Not likely.
“If it’s thought that a show is going to bring in more money for the business it’s featuring, the producers get away with paying the star a lot less,” says Michael, currently producing a reality show about Motocross champ James Stewart Jr. and family. “More like 5 percent of the per-episode budget.”
For the record, the Duggars also make money from their commercial investments. But having your own orchestra made up entirely of your own children? Priceless.
[From E! Online]
While I was doing some minimal research for this story, I found an article on Newsweek about the Quiverfull movement that the Duggars follow, which teaches that children are a gift from God and that family planning should be left to Him. Having as many children as possible is viewed as a way to ensure entry into Heaven, with some pro-Quiverfull texts making it sound as if they’re preparing Christian child armies. One author is quoted as writing “Oh what a vision, to invade the earth with mighty sons and daughters who have been trained and prepared for God’s divine purposes.” The movement is said to be demeaning to women, who are left to care for ever-increasing numbers of children, typically under much more meager circumstances than the Duggars. The Duggar family is presenting a happy, financially secure face to Quiverfull, but the reality is much starker for other huge families that follow this philosophy. Are the Duggars irresponsibly populating the overextended earth or is it ok because they have the means to support their family? Some would argue that their environmental impact goes much beyond the 18 children they’ve brought into the world, since they’re making it look deceptively easy to raise huge families. In their case it’s been financially beneficial too.
Photos from TLC. Michelle Duggar is shown next to her also-pregnant daughter-in-law.