TLC has announced new television specials featuring the Duggar, Dillard, and Seewald families, and a lot of viewers aren't a bit happy about it. For these viewers, the Duggar family, particularly married daughters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, represent everything dangerous about certain types of religious teachings: the rules that weigh more heavily on daughters than sons, the notion that women and young girls are guilty when they are assaulted, abused, or molested, and the minimization and excusing of sexual abuse.
Such viewers made it their business, as soon as TLC made the announcement, to work on getting the specials canceled, and to prevent any further spin-offs that might emerge as a result of the specials. Numerous people have contacted TLC to voice their displeasure with the decision, and they have begun to contact a wide range of corporations that have or might advertise on TLC, asking them not to allow their commercials to support any specials featuring the Duggar, Dillard, or Seewald families.
As a result, over 100 brands have promised that they won't advertise during the specials. Some have explicitly stated that they share the concerns about the results of honoring the Duggar family with further television fame, especially with scandals still rolling in. Others have stated that they do not advertise with TLC, or simply stated that they've pulled advertising from 19 Kids and Counting without expressly addressing the specials with Jessa and Ben Seewald and Jill and Derrick Dillard.
A few companies have refused to answer, with at least one accused of deleting any Facebook comments on their page that mention the names "Duggar," "Dillard," or "Seewald." A few more have answered with noncommittal statements, saying that they don't consider their ads a sponsorship, that they don't control what programming their ads air with, or that they have a duty to shareholders to 'advertise on a diverse range of media.'
Without further ado, here are the current lists:
Those who have stated that they won't advertise on anything centered around any Duggar, Dillard, or Seewald in the foreseeable future:
Many more companies have promised to forward concerns to their media departments, and have given no further response as yet.
There are many companies that have not yet given any response at all. Some of these have been more directly associated with the Duggar, Dillard, and Seewald families. These include companies the Duggar family endorsed on their original show, and companies that the families have posted about on their social media pages.
Jim Bob Duggar recently shared this image of himself visiting Lowe's with his newest grandchild. Lowe's has not responded to requests for information about whether they will advertise on the Seewald/Dillard specials.
Disney is another company that isn't responding to calls to boycott the Duggar/Dillard/Seewald specials -- photos of Michelle Duggar and some of her sons at Disneyland can be found on the Duggar Family Blog.
Chick-Fil-A is a Duggar family favorite, and is expressing no opinions on the scandals and controversies.
Hobby Lobby, a company well known for conservative values, has also expressed no stance.
There's no doubt that the Dillard and Seewald specials can go on even if the only sponsors are companies that have openly taken conservative stances, and a small handful that refuse to take any stance, so the boycotts and protests may not stop the specials, or further spin-offs, from taking place. However, there can be no question that TLC knows how a large percent of the public feels about the Duggar, Seewald, and Dillard families being promoted and placed on a pedestal on their network. Whether the public response will take down the ratings and the shows yet remains to be seen.