Jessa Duggar’s new show Jill & Jessa: Counting On premiered to high ratings, but the two sister’s reportedly landed TLC in some hot water when the network aired commercials for sponsors who want nothing to do with the Duggar family. Companies such as Crayola and Ford, who believe the Duggar clan is a bad influence, first spoke up last summer when the news broke that Josh Duggar molested five girls when he was a teenager. Now, the companies are speaking up again against TLC.
Crayola, in particular, has responded to consumers who complained about their commercials airing during the premiere episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On. The crayon manufacturer assured concerned viewers that TLC aired the commercials against the explicit instructions of the organizations. Crayola claimed they were addressing the issue with TLC, and they “regret” that the commercials aired against their instructions.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) December 14, 2015
Consumers also complained to Ford, asking why their commercials aired during Jill & Jessa: Counting On, after the company pledged to boycott the Duggar family, but to date, Ford has not responded.
According to the Facebook group “Take The Pledge Boycott All Discovery Channels,” the Duggar family should not be on television since the family has swept the molestation accusations under the carpet and “minimized childhood sexual abuse showing victims they do not matter.” The group asks followers to pledge they’ll boycott TLC for the one hour that Jill & Jessa: Counting On is on the air. The Facebook group believes that by continuing to keep the Duggar family on the air in Jill & Jessa: Counting On, TLC is placing high ratings over the trauma endured by young abuse victims like Jill and Jessa Duggar.
After the news broke about the molestation scandals, Jill and Jessa, who were two of Josh Duggar’s victims, came forward to say that their family had forgiven Josh, who had asked for God’s forgiveness, and worked towards rebuilding their relationship with him. Viewers did not buy the Duggar family’s story, however, and immediately began contacting sponsors of 19 Kids & Counting, who began pulling their ads from the show.
— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) December 14, 2015
Two of these sponsors were Ford and Crayola, who released a public statement that they will no longer be affiliated with the Duggar family.
A second group, called “Contacting Sponsors: #NoMoreDuggars,” started on Facebook to give people a place to air their grievances about the Duggar family. The group lists the names and numbers of the various sponsors of Jill & Jessa: Counting On so viewers can contact those companies directly to complain about airing commercials during the show.
The Duggars are known for their conservative Christian values, but following the molestation scandals, even Christian groups abandoned the Duggar family. When Jill and Jessa Duggar said they had moved on from being molested, the blog Patheos criticized the Duggar clan because they were “treating what Josh did as something normal for boys his age.” The site also claims the family brushed Josh Duggar’s actions off, claiming he was “just curious about girls.”
— OPPA (@nanghtikeaung) December 18, 2015
Network insiders have revealed that if the mini-series is successful, then TLC will offer Jessa Duggar Seewald and her sister Jill Dillard a full contract, reports Hollywood Gossip. Jill & Jessa: Counting On follows Jessa Duggar and her sister Jill Dillard as they move past the sexual abuse and towards adulthood. Jessa prepares for her new baby while the series follows Jill as she moves to Central America to pursue missionary work.
The first installment of the three-part series about Jill and Jessa Duggar aired December 13 to high viewership and poor reviews. The next episode airs December 20, and TLC is hoping they retain the high viewership the first episode brought.
But the question remains about whether the series can actually get sponsors to sign off on it. After airing the Ford and Crayola commercials after the companies pledged to boycott Jill & Jessa: Counting On, it’s not clear whether TLC can get sponsors to back the show, despite the high ratings Jill and Jessa Duggar received.
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