Jessa and Jill Duggar's TV specials might already be in production, but some Duggar family critics are working hard to make sure that TLC doesn't put the girls back on the air.
TLC recently announced that it's going to air the first of multiple specials centered on Jessa and Jill Duggar later this year, and some Duggar detractors are trying to hit TLC where it hurts by targeting the companies that advertise on the TLC network. The Cancel the Duggars and Contacting Sponsors #Nomoreduggars Facebook pages are encouraging critics of the Duggar family to pressure advertisers into opting out of airing ads during Jessa and Jill Duggar's TV specials.
According to Starpulse, the anti-Duggar campaign is paying off in a very big way -- almost 180 companies have confirmed that they won't be advertising during the TV specials. The companies that have jumped ship include Crayola, Hidden Valley, KFC, CVS, Nestle, Clorox, Little Debbie, Jimmy Dean, Lysol, Durex Condoms, Arm & Hammer, Kleenex, and Cottonelle.
This isn't the first time advertisers have dumped the Duggars. Earlier this summer, companies including Payless ShoeSource, General Mills, and Walgreens committed to not advertising on future episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the companies opted to pull their ads after it was revealed that Josh Duggar had sexually molested five young girls as a teenager. Four of Josh's victims were his own sisters.
According to CNN Money, 19 Kids and Counting was canceled in July. TLC didn't reveal whether its potential loss of advertising money played any part in the decision to give the show the ax, but if the cancellation was a direct result of advertisers' defections, there's a chance that TLC will give in to this new pressure to abandon its plans to air the TV specials about Jessa and Jill Duggar.
Jessa and Jill Duggar were two of Josh's victims, and they appeared in TLC's commercial-free documentary about sexual molestation earlier this summer. It's possible that the network was gauging viewers' reactions to the documentary before it ordered the girls' TLC specials, and the upcoming specials centered on Jessa and Jill could lead to spinoff reality shows for the girls if they prove to be successful enough. In other words, the Duggars could have TV time for years to come if the anti-Duggar campaigners fail to get enough advertisers to shun the family.
According to the Cancel the Duggars Facebook page, Jill and Jessa still have plenty of potential advertisers in play. Companies that haven't committed to pulling ads from the sisters' specials include Chapstick, Lowe's Home Improvement, Maybelline, Caesar dog food, Little Ceasars pizza, Disney, and GEICO. The page lists a total of 16 "sponsors that NEVER STOPPED supporting the Duggars."
Many people don't have a problem with the specials centered on Jessa and Jill Duggar because they view the girls' older brother Josh as the only controversial member of the Duggar family, and the Associated Press has confirmed that Josh won't be appearing in any future TV specials about the Duggars. However, his controversial parents might, and many critics of the Duggars feel like Jessa and Jill aren't exactly angels.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jill Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, have caused controversy by asking their fans to fund their mission trip to Central America by donating to their nonprofit, Dillard Family Ministries. However, the couple doesn't meet the qualifications for missionaries set by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the International Mission Board (IMB), and Derick seemingly misled fans when he claimed that he and Jill were "officially commissioned" to the mission field by Cross Church -- the "commissioning" was really just a prayer session for Jill and Derick. Many critics think that Jill and Derick are scamming their fans into funding a free vacation away from the drama surrounding the rest of Jill's family. Jill and Derick have little work to do because they are trying to convert people in an area that is already composed of a Christian majority. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, almost 96 percent of Central Americans identify as Christian.
Jessa Duggar has caused a few controversies of her own. She blamed the Holocaust on a belief in evolution and compared it to abortion in an Instagram post, and she defended Josh Duggar during an interview with FOX News Channel host Megyn Kelly. Jessa played down the way Josh inappropriately touched his young victims by saying that he was just a curious teenager.
"In Josh's case, he was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls, and that got him into some trouble, and he made some bad choices."Jessa said that the touching was "mild" and that most of it happened while his victims were asleep, but according to a police report obtained by In Touch Weekly, one of Josh's victims was his then 5-year-old sister, and she was very awake when he fondled her. In fact, Josh was reading her a story when he touched her "breasts and vaginal area."
Do you think TLC will stop production of Jessa and Jill Duggar's TV specials if enough advertisers opt against paying for ad space? Sound off in the comments.
[Featured Image via Jill Duggar/Instagram]