Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are returning to TV along with fellow former 19 Kids and Counting stars Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald. The two couples have scored their own TLC TV specials, and network execs hoped that these specials wouldn’t cause too much controversy — they reportedly won’t feature troubled brother Josh Duggar, the most controversial member of the Duggar family. However, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are currently dealing with a controversy of their own, and some critics aren’t happy that the couple will be receiving a check from TLC while they ask for donations to their new charity.
According to the Associated Press, TLC will soon begin filming two TV specials focused on Jill Duggar, Jessa Duggar, and their husbands. The network may produce additional specials starring the two couples, but execs probably want to gauge public reaction before committing to them. Jill and Derick’s special will focus on their Central America mission trip, and Jessa and Ben’s special will be about the birth of their first child. A “production source” reassured fans that Josh Duggar will never appear on TLC again after admitting to sexually molesting Jessa, Jill, two other younger sisters, and another girl when he was 15-years-old.
Nancy Daniels, TLC Executive Vice President and General Manager, told the AP that TLC has been in “close contact” with Jessa and Jill Duggar ever since the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting, and the girls both made it clear that the TV specials were something that they really wanted to do.
“With what was happening in their lives in the next few months, it felt like now is the time (for the specials), and we got going pretty quickly,” Daniels said.
Duggar family fans and critics alike have already been closely following what’s happening in Jill Duggar’s life. She and her husband, Derick Dillard, left on a mission trip to Central America early in July, and the trip has been subject to a lot of scrutiny. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jill and Derick have been criticized for trying to convert Catholics to their own brand of fundamentalist Christianity.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have also been criticized for asking their fans to donate money to their new tax-exempt charity, Dillard Family Ministries. According to ETonline, some fans have complained that Jill and Derick are misusing the money that is being donated to them. They noticed that Jill and Derick have already flown back to the States for two weddings since leaving for El Salvador, and some donors think that the couple is treating mission work more like an extended vacation. Many have called for the couple to release a detailed statement of how they are spending their funds.
The mission trip money issue is a hot topic over on Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s joint Facebook page. In response to the news that Jill and Derick are getting their own TLC TV special, critics have used the page to vent their frustration. Some commenters refer to the couple as “scammers” who are on a “fake mission” trip, and others are listing TLC advertisers to boycott. One commenter demanded that Jill and Derick return their donors’ money now that they’ll be getting a paycheck from TLC.
“You need to GIVE BACK THE MONEY YOU BEGGED FANS FOR,” Kelly Lawrence wrote. “We know you won’t do THAT, right? This really proves that you were scamming people and sing (sic) the money for yourselves. Shameless, disgusting grifters.”
Unfortunately for Duggar critics, the TV special may be the beginning of a long relationship between Jill Duggar and TLC. Before landing the 19 Kids and Counting reality show, the Duggar family starred in a series of specials that aired on Discovery Health and TLC. It’s very possible that Jill and her husband will follow in Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s footsteps by eventually scoring their own reality show, and, if they do, they might get paid pretty handsomely for it. According to PEOPLE, the Duggar family made $25,000 to $45,000 per episode of 19 Kids and Counting.
Duggar family critics might not be happy about the specials starring Jill Duggar, Derick Dillard, Jessa Duggar, and Ben Seewald, but there is one positive side to Jill and Derick’s special — maybe Dillard Family Ministries’ donors will finally get to see exactly how their money is being spent.