Jill Duggar’s husband Derick Dillard has been on the outs with his famous in-laws for some time. Now he’s persona non grata at TLC.
The network has gone ahead and made this official.
Back in August, the 28-year old Arkansas native made headlines when he attacked 17-year old transgender Jazz Jennings,
Like Derick’s wife and her family, Jazz a show on TLC.
Seemingly unprompted by anything other than the fact that Jennings stars on I Am Jazz, Dillard wrote on Instagram at the time:
"What an oxymoron… a ‘reality’ show which follows a non-reality. ‘Transgender’ is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God."
Jennings mostly took the high road in response.
Jazz labeled Dillard a cyberbully, but said that she’s unfortunately accustomed to remarks and has learned to brush them off.
Fast forward to late last week and Derick was at it again, writing the following on Twitter, again prompted by nothing other than Jazz existing:
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.
Ah yes, the classic "nothing against" the person whose lifestyle one thinks is sinful and shameful – and the deliberate use of the wrong pronoun.
Jazz now identifies as a woman, and it’s hard not to read Derick’s persistent use of "him" with a certain tone of disdain.
Derick added that "never bullied anyone," but "just said I didn’t agree with what is being propagated on TV."
Dillard said he is merely "expressing my view of what should be treated as reality; if I say I feel like I am Nepali, that doesn’t make me so."
Right. Because those two things are comparable.
In response to this most recent attack, Jazz once again did not mention Derick Dillard or the Duggar family by name.
But she tweeted on Saturday:
"In the face of constant ignorance and hatred I prefer to disregard negative opinions and continue moving forward with love."
TLC, meanwhile, was not as even-handed in its latest statement, unequivocally distancing itself from Derick … forever.
On its official Twitter account, the cable network, which is considering canceling Counting On anyway, wrote this:
We want to let our viewers know that Derick Dillard has not participated in Counting On for months.
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.
Some Duggar/Dillard fans, naturally, have fired back, claiming Derick is simply exercising his right to "free speech."
Which is true. He’s not about to be imprisoned for his view. Nor should he be. Dillard can say whatever he pleases.
Just because he has that right to free speech doesn’t mean he can expect no consequences for that speech, however.
Plenty of human beings who find Derick offensive and have no problem with Jazz have that very same right to speech.
Should they be silenced, according to his logic?
Moreover, TLC is a private, for-profit company that can exercise its own right to distance itself from whomever it desires.
The general future of Counting On remains unclear, though Der certainly isn’t doing the Duggars any favors lately.
There has been chatter of late that the show may not return for a new season, largely due to Derick Dillard’s controversial comments.
Yes, the Duggars are unabashedly conservative, but the father of two seems bent on going out of his way to stir things up.
As such, he may be more trouble than he’s worth for TLC as they evaluate the risk-reward aspect of this programming.
Your take: What do you think about what Derick said about Jazz Jennings – again – and how TLC responded?
Should the network finally cut ties with this family once and truly for all, or should they stand by the Duggars?