After Josh plead not guilty to charges related to the possession of material which "depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12" last week, fans took to Twitter to call for the entire Duggar family to be removed from TLC going forward -- tweets Derick both liked and responded to over the weekend.
Over the past year, Derick and Jill have been open about their estrangement from the rest of the family, claiming it stems from not being compensated fairly for their participation in "19 and Counting" and "Counting On." The latter show was green lit by TLC after the parent series was canceled when Josh was accused of and admitted to molesting four of his sisters -- including Jill -- and a family friend as a teenager. According to Derick's latest tweets, "Counting On" was merely a "rebranding" to keep the Duggar train moving full steam ahead on the network, but said little else changed behind the scenes.
When one fan said it would be unfair to cancel "Counting On" because it had nothing to do with Josh, Derick argued that "19 and Counting" wasn't axed simply because of Josh's part in the molestation scandal. He said that, had it just been about Jill's brother, they would have simply pulled him from the show and kept it going. Another fan then said "Counting On" felt like a "rebranding" that was supposed to focus on Jill and Jessa, but eventually gave more air time to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as it continued.
"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," tweeted Derick. "We pushed back often, and we were threatened often."
"If you'll notice, we refused to go to the photo shoot for the intro of the show, 'Jill & Jessa: Counting On,'" he continued. "That's why we weren't in the intro, but had to do the shows. Finally, we called their bluff and quit. Will explain more later in a different context."
When another follower said they thought TLC and the Duggar family had handled the molestation scandal "very well," Derick also hit back. "How do you know how it was handled? It was not handled well," he wrote. "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."
That same fan pushed back too, saying it was Derick and Jill's decision to leave and they should let the others who decided to stay on the show "be." Again, Dillard responded, saying: "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."
"We pushed back for a long time & pretended like there was nothing wrong on the outside before we finally got to the place where we quit. Everyone has their own context, including timeline, incentives, fears/threats, information, etc. that they must operate within," he continued. "So it will play out and look different as each individual behaves & responds differently within their unique context. My main message at this point is just for people to evaluate critically and not just assume things are as they appear on the surface. Thank you."
When another follower said it seemed like "TLC cares more about revenue than welfare, even when children are concerned," Dillard replied saying, "It would appear so."
He went on to like tweets reading, "[TLC] need to cut all ties today. Like this minute" and another showing Josh's arrest report reading, "The Duggars need to be removed from @tlc now. RIGHT NOW! This is beyond disgusting."
In October 2020, Jill claimed she wasn't paid a dime for her appearances on "19 and Counting" and "Counting On" from 2008-2017 until after she quit. "That's when we got an attorney involved and finally recovered some of the money," Duggar told PEOPLE at the time, adding that "it was a process" to get any sort of compensation.
While TLC declined to comment, the magazine claimed Jill's father was the "primary payee" for both shows -- even though the "Counting On" spinoff primarily focused on the children, specifically Jill and Jessa. PEOPLE says he pulled in $25-$45,000 per episode.
"We hadn't been paid for anything," Jill also said in a YouTube video with her husband around the same time. "There were perks that came along with filming and we were grateful for those. We hadn't been paid until we were pressing about it and getting an attorney involved."
"We were able to recover a portion of what Jill should have been paid up until we left the show," added Derick. "Even if in the end it probably ended up being a little more than minimum wage at most, we were able to recover at least something."
In reaction to the videos, Jim Bob and mom Michelle Duggar released a statement saying, "Every family has differences of opinion and perspective at times, but families work things out. We all love Jill, Derick, and their boys very much." They added that it's their "prayer that our relationship is healed and fully restored quickly!"
TooFab has reached out to TLC and the Duggar family for comment.