It wasn’t the fact that “Mama June” Shannon reportedly had a secret boyfriend that got Here Comes Honey Boo Boo canceled. It was the fact that this reported boyfriend was a convicted sex offender. And TLC pulled the plug on the show the day after a report of their relationship hit the Internet.
On Oct. 23, 2014, TMZ claimed June had been secretly dating an ex of hers named Mark McDaniel, who had just gotten out of prison after serving 10 years for forcing oral sex on an eight-year-old. The site had obtained a photo of him and June at a small party in a hotel room. June denied the relationship, TMZ said, but TLC canceled the series the very next day.
Then, on the same day of that cancellation, came another bombshell: June’s then-20-year-old daughter Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell said Mark had victimized her when she was eight. And that revelation came just hours after Radar Online quoted Anna denying her mother’s relationship with Mark. (“I know for a fact it’s not true,” Anna had said. “The person behind this, all I got to say is, he or she is trying to tear the family apart, which isn’t right one bit.”) As Deadline reported at the time, Anna came revealed her past with Mark after becoming convinced he and her mother had indeed rekindled their relationship.
TLC had reportedly filmed a whole season of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo by that point but opted not to air it after the scandal broke. But TLC did say it was supporting June’s children and even offering counseling to Anna. “Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority,” the network stated at the time. “TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.”
And if you thought that cancellation was abrupt, just imagine how the Thompson family felt. “I woke up one morning and was like, ‘Where is the crew?'” Alana Thompson — aka Honey Boo Boo herself — said on a 2016 episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? “My mom was like, ‘We stopped filming the show.'”
Meanwhile, June seemed relieved their reality fame was behind them. “There’s nothing like being back at home and knowing that you don’t have to deal with drama and you don’t have to deal with craziness,” she said on that episode. “It’s been [nicer] to have it calm and have peace for once.”