If you’re a fan of the Duggar family, then you’ve probably already heard the news that Derick Dillard has been fired by TLC for his relentless harassment of Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen also employed by the network.
Sources have claimed that the Duggars are "outraged" over Derick’s termination, but not for the reasons one might think.
While Jim Bob and company reportedly agree with Derick’s transphobic stance, they’re said to be incensed that the father of two brought another scandal down on their heads by expressing his views so publicly and persistently.
Yes, it seems Derick’s famous in-laws are concerned not with his bullying of a teenage girl, but with the ways that it might affect their ailing media empire.
Currently, the family is facing a familiar problem:
How to continue creating the impression that their reality show is an unfiltered slice-of-life, while at the same time avoiding any mention of the latest relative to bring disgrace to the family name?
It’s the same position the Duggars found themselves in following the revelation that Josh Duggar molested five young girls.
Except this time, they’re facing the additional challenge of continuing to incorporate Jill Duggar, while at the same time editing the show in such a way as to make viewers forget about the father of her children.
The situation has led some fans to wonder if Jill will be axed from the show alongside Derick.
Our prediction? Probably not.
Yes, it will be difficult to come up with Jill storylines that don’t make the absence of Derick all the more glaring, but the Counting On crew has proven in the past that they’re up to the task of working around significant challenges.
The Duggars certainly aren’t lacking in on-air "talent," but Jill is one of a handful of Jim Bob and Michelle’s children that the show can’t do without.
There’s a reason the show was originally titled Jill and Jessa: Counting On.
The sisters and their children served as representatives of the family’s future at a time when producers very much wanted viewers to forget the past.
Audiences watched Jill and Jessa grow up and for many, seeing them start families of their own was no doubt an intensely gratifying experience.
So the show will go on without Derick–but without Jill, many fans would no doubt begin to feel that the Duggar clan has been whittled down by scandal to the point that it’s no longer recognizable.
Watch Counting On online for more on reality TV’s most controversial family.