Derick Dillard, married to Jill Duggar, needs a lesson or two in keeping his mouth shut. Don't get me wrong, I think everyone has the right to their own opinion and that social media is absolutely a place to voice that opinion. But for a family that has already been fired from their television show due to controversial comments, Dillard sure seems to keep biting the hand that feeds, or rather fed, him.
Dillard and his family were fired from Counting On, the 19 Kids and Counting spin-off show, for making derogatory comments towards another one of TLC's stars. TLC runs a show called I Am Jazz, which follows 17-year-old Jazz Jennings as she lives her life as a transgender teen, transitioning from male to female. The show has been one of TLC's most viewed shows on the network and is doing incredible work for the LGBTQ community.
However, Dillard is not one of those people on board with the show...or Jazz Jennings at all, for that matter.
“What an oxymoron... a 'reality' show which follows a non-reality. 'Transgender' is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God," Dillard wrote on Twitter in August.
After Jennings tweeted about cyber-bullying, Dillard continued his rampage.
"I pity Jazz, 4 those who take advantage of him in order 2 promote their agenda, including the parents who allow these kinds of decisions 2 be made by a child.
It's sad that ppl would use a juvenile this way.
Again, nothing against him, just unfortunate what's on TV these days."
Dillard claims he "never bullied anyone" and "just said [he] didn't agree with what is being propagated on TV."
TLC wasn't buying it, however. The network almost immediately fired the family from Counting On, citing Dillard's comments as the reason.
"We want to let our viewers know that Derick Dillard has not participated in Counting On for months and the network has no plans to feature him in the future.
We want to reiterate that Derick's personal statements do not reflect the views of the network.
TLC is proud to share the story of Jazz Jennings and her family and will continue to do so."
While the family stayed fairly silent on the topic, it now seems like Dillard has some choice words for the network.
Dillard took to Twitter (surprise) to criticize TLC for their treatment of children, like Jazz Jennings, saying they're being exploited. The original argument started after the Parkland school shooting, when Dillard said the media was "pushing their agenda" by using victims of the shooting.
"This has gotten a little ridiculous; at least 2 networks are now using kids to push their liberal agendas," Dillard said. "It’s obviously not all about the kids when voices like @KyleKashuv aren’t as elevated. Liberal Media... at least be consistent so you can hide your biased tactics better."
When he was criticized for his comments, Dillard went on the offensive.
"No, I criticized the media’s use of kids again...like
@TLC uses Jazz," he tried to clarify. "My heart goes out to the victims, but all ideas should be heard, and subjected to criticism."
Fans were quick to point out that the Duggars use their show all the time to push their agenda.
"TLC uses the Duggar children too, including your wife for many years. How is that any different?" one fan asked.
"We're not a part of that," Dillard responded.
"You willingly collected a paycheck from Counting On until recently," the fan reminded him.
Dillard's response? "False."
Another fan responded, saying "says a guy who used his kids in a reality show for $. Whose in laws did the same and still do."
Dillard says he "never did that."
This allegation is pretty startling, considering it's been widely reported that the family rakes in thousands of dollars per episode. But perhaps the most upsetting revelation was when Dillard said his son Samuel spent two months in the NICU and then complained that TLC didn't pay for the hospital bills.
Dillard said the extended stay was after Samuel's birth, but didn't elaborate on the reasons. When one user said "your job is to protect your kids, not use them as meal tickets," Dillard replied in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, saying "does that means I shouldn't have gotten the hospital lunch while my son was in the NICU for two weeks?"
Dillard went into further explanation, saying:
"We even requested that they help with some of the medical expenses from the birth that they made a pretty penny on, but they refused to help cover any of those costs. It was close to a year before we made the last medical payment."
Fans once again attacked Dillard, saying "welcome to the real world," and still not believing that the family didn't get paid.
"We could pay for it fine; I had a great job," Dillard rebutted. "The point is, I thought that at least since they were making money off the birth special episode, they could help soften the burden a little. And no, as far as we could tell, we were volunteers and hadn’t been paid anything 4 the show."
The volunteer thing seems like a stretch, but fans pointed out that even if that was the case, it still didn't make the medical bills TLC's problem.
"Like I said, until recently, I assumed we were just volunteering to help out in filming where it would help out," Dillard tried to explain. "I knew they didn’t owe anything, but I didn’t think it was unreasonable to request some expense reimbursement, under the impression we volunteered all that time."
The whole situation is not a good look for anyone. There's a few different explanations, and all of them are bad.
- The Dillard-Duggars really didn't get paid for their efforts, and TLC looks bad for using the family without paying them.
- The Dillard-Duggars did get paid, but the money went straight to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
- Derick is flat-out lying about TLC not paying them to make him and his wife look better.