OK, obviously Josh Duggar‘s arrest has caused some heated responses. But this is the first anti-Duggar one we’ve seen coming from inside the house!
As you probably heard, last week the 19 Kids And Counting star was arrested on child pornography charges. That has triggered a lot of calls for TLC to cancel the “spinoff” Counting On and cut ties with the Duggar family altogether. And at least one member of the controversial family is actually on board with that idea: Derick Dillard, husband of Jill Duggar Dillard.
The former star of the first iteration of 19 Kids spinoff, Jill & Jessa: Counting On, has been active on Twitter over the past few days, joining in the discussion and offering some very crucial insights.
For instance, a fan tried to argue the actions of Josh shouldn’t affect the fortunes of his siblings and their show:
“If you cancel one show cancel all. Why should Jessa and Ben or John an abbie suffer. That’s my point Josh and his parents have nothing to do with the other kids. Leave their show alone. Josh was already removed from the original show. Counting On doesn’t even talk about him.”
But Derick corrected:
“It’s the parents’ show, you know that, right?”
Yes, the future lawyer pointed out that the last time a huge scandal about Josh — and by association his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar — came out, TLC did cancel the show. And not without cause.
Josh’s molestation of young girls, including his sisters, as a teen was done under the roof of these folks who were selling themselves as an example good Christian parents. Not only that, they kept it secret from the world for a decade, allowing Josh around any number of unsuspecting women and children.
(And of course many would argue the ludicrously strict puritanical upbringing their particular brand of faith requires is what twisted his brain to view sex in such an unnatural way. But that’s a different discussion.)
So it would make sense that a network would cancel the show of the parents who covered up their son’s molestation scandal — especially when he ended up getting busted for child porn years later.
Fans who thought that show was already canceled? Well, Derick has news for them. 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On are the SAME SHOW. When another follower said it seemed like just a rebranding, Derick confirmed:
“Yes, that’s exactly what they called it — a rebranding. Same business structure as 19K&C (I.e., one person makes the decisions for all and one person got paid) but it would be ‘rebranded’ to make people think it was different. We pushed back often, and we were threatened often”
That one person? Well, we’ve already heard who that is. Last year Jill explained to People that despite being an adult doing a job — yes, being on a reality show is work — all the money was being paid straight to her father. So if Counting On is just 19 Kids And Counting with a different name, shouldn’t the network be obliged to cancel it FOR REAL this time??
When a fan said they thought the original cancellation after Josh’s scandal was handled “well,” Derick countered:
“How do you know how it was handled? It was not handled well. The public was deceived. Their plan worked. And we were told to keep filming and keep our mouths shut. We called their bluff and left.”
Yep. The network was able to pretend to care about the damage done to those poor girls and future children — but still keep their cash cow. “The public was deceived.”
Derick also told followers they shouldn’t assume the loyalty of the other Duggar kids who didn’t quit the show:
“How do you know they’re not trying to leave? They didn’t know what we knew when we knew it. As I’ve said before, we were told to not talk to the others about what we learned. And based on our history, I don’t know what scare tactics are used on the others to keep them compliant.”
Is it possible they’re being forced to film against their wishes or through deception, just like Jill was? It seems more likely than not at this point.
When one commenter wrote:
“TLC cares more about revenue than welfare, even when children are concerned.”
“It would appear so.”
He also liked multiple tweets calling for the cancellation, including one with Josh’s arrest report captioned with:
“The Duggars need to be removed from @tlc now. RIGHT NOW! This is beyond disgusting.”
So it’s pretty clear where he stands. Considering Jill’s recent comments about the show and its mistreatment of her and her siblings, we can only assume she agrees.
But one sister who probably wishes this could all be swept under the carpet again? Jinger Duggar Vuolo.
The now-27-year-old younger sister of Josh just so happened to have a memoir coming out on Tuesday, which is either the best or worst coincidence of all time. Certainly a lot more people are interested in what she had to say about big bro these days…
In The Hope We Hold, co-authored with her husband Jeremy Vuolo, she does open up about the Josh scandal. That is, the 2015 revelation that over a decade earlier he molested multiple unconscious girls in the Duggar home, including two of his sisters, Jill and Jessa.
Speaking about the moment she knew the scandal had gone public, she writes:
“My brain hadn’t quite caught up to the reality of what had happened in a few short hours. Earlier that day, Dad had gathered my siblings and me to tell us that the worst trial in our family history, a trial we had long since dealt with and made our peace with, was now public knowledge.”
They may have made their peace with it, but by covering it up they clearly did not solve the whole Josh problem. It only stewed and waited and found child porn online.
Anyway, Jinger goes on to complain not about the molestation itself but about the public disgrace, saying despite having been on a reality TV show for seven years at that point, she was upset that “intimate details” about her family were “splashed across a magazine page and all over the internet for anyone and everyone to read.”
“I felt shell-shocked, as if a bomb had exploded. I moved in a daze, living in a nightmare that I wished with all my heart wasn’t real.”
Again, she’s talking about people finding out, not about the fact her brother molested her sisters.
“One of my siblings had made some sinful choices, but it had all been years ago. It had been awful, but we had dealt with it as a family. We’d sought the Lord, took the necessary steps to move toward healing, and offered up our forgiveness. Now that it was out in public, the old wound was open again, raw, painful.”
Are we wrong here? Or is all of this about the annoyance of the scandal and not about the trauma her sisters and their friends suffered? Sorry, but it just reads to us as a very self-centered take on the whole thing.
To be fair, she was very young when all this happened in the first place. We’re guessing she really did think all of Josh’s problems were in the past. We’re sure her parents convinced all the siblings that a little church rehab just fixed that child molestation urge right up.
The book was scheduled to be published long before this new dark chapter in the family’s history was written. So last month she was still doing press for it, something we’re guessing will not be happening anymore, and spoke to Us Weekly about the scandal.
She said at that time:
“Our family was way closer because of that, and in spite of that, I guess you’d say. I will never forget how I felt in that moment. And I think even everything that happens in our lives — because we’re in the public eye — it makes it more challenging because then it’s not just dealing with these things inwardly, but you have to give an answer to the world. That makes it a much tougher thing to walk through.”
Will this new scandal also bring her family closer together?
All she’s said about Josh’s arrest thus far is a statement on her Instagram in which she wrote:
“We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice.”
At least she’s not making this one about how embarrassing it is for her. But who knows, maybe in six years she’ll write another book.
What do YOU think about Derick and Jinger’s very different takes on the family’s scandals?? Let us know in the comments (below)!