Jill & Jessa: Counting On, the new series of TLC specials starring Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald, is causing so much controversy that over 600 advertisers have vowed not to advertise during the trio of hour-long Duggar documentaries. But is this enough to get TLC to consider cancelling the specials before the first one airs this December?
There’s a massive online campaign to get companies to pull their ads from the Jill & Jessa: Counting On specials, and the list of advertisers ditching the Duggars seems to grow longer every day. According to Starpulse, it currently includes over 600 companies, and many of the advertiser defections are the result of online campaigns by members of Facebook groups like Cancel the Duggars and No More Duggars. In an effort to get Jill & Jessa: Counting On cancelled, critics of the Duggar family have been tirelessly bombarding companies with requests to pull their ads from Jill and Jessa’s specials. The No More Duggars Facebook page lists 628 companies that have vowed to do just this, including Nivea, Kleenex, and Trojan Condoms. The Cancel The Duggars Facebook page has a large collection of screenshots of responses from companies that have decided to ditch the Duggars.
— TV Guide (@TVGuide) October 19, 2015
When TLC viewers learned that Josh Duggar had sexually molested a babysitter and four of his sisters, 19 Kids and Counting experienced what appeared to be a similar exodus of advertisers. However, as Variety pointed out at the time, some of the advertisers that vowed to pull their ads weren’t following through with their promises to turn on TLC. Adweek published a similar report about the supposed Duggar advertiser defection.
“Several media buyers also declined to comment on the record, though one noted that no clients had yet asked to pull advertising from any current TLC shows.”
However, even though 19 Kids and Counting wasn’t actually losing any ad money for TLC, the Duggar family’s show was cancelled in July. There’s an easy way for advertisers to maintain a relationship with TLC while distancing their companies from the controversial Duggar family — instead of pulling all their advertising dollars from TLC, the companies can simply request that none of their ads air during Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar’s upcoming specials. Below is a screenshot of a response from Fisher-Price seemingly admitting that the toy company did just this.
Jill & Jessa: Counting On would most likely be in danger if every TLC advertiser made this request, but if a handful of companies don’t have a problem with their ads airing during the specials, TLC has nothing to worry about. The network just needs to keep its available ad spaces filled to profit from the Jill and Jessa Duggar specials. Some fans of the Duggar family might not understand why so many critics want Jill & Jessa: Counting On pulled from the schedule — the girls were Josh Duggar’s victims, and to many Duggar fans, it didn’t seem fair to kick them off of TV because of the actions of their brother and their parents.
However, as the Inquisitr previously reported, some critics of the Duggar family have accused Jill and Jessa Duggar of “minimizing incest and child abuse” by defending Josh after it was revealed that they were sexually molested by their brother.
“I am glad that so many sponsors are standing up for victims of child sexual assault and saying NO to sponsoring a show featuring a family that minimizes assaults against children and the degradation of women,” Katie Moran wrote on the Jill & Jessa: Counting On Facebook page.
“Women and young girls need to see that they have value as more then breedstock, they can have their own opinions, and they have the right to NOT be OK with someone touching them in a sexual manner without consent.”
Jill and Jessa Duggar react to brother Josh’s scandals: “We were devastated.” http://t.co/UsgzbfDYTl pic.twitter.com/prenk1alDL
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) October 19, 2015
Jill and Jessa attempted to save 19 Kids and Counting by doing a Fox News Channel interview with Megyn Kelly. During the interview, Jessa majorly downplayed Josh’s behavior.
“None of the victims were aware of what happened until Joshua confessed,” Jessa said. “The extent of it was mild – inappropriate touching on fully clothed victims, most of it while [the] girls were sleeping.”
However, as In Touch Weekly points out, Jessa Duggar failed to mention that her then-5-year-old sister was very awake when a teenage Josh “touched her breasts and vaginal area.” According to a police report, Josh’s young victim said that her brother pulled down her pants and touched her on the skin.
Jessa Duggar’s spin on the sexual molestation scandal couldn’t save 19 Kids and Counting, but it’s possible that it helped her and her older sister secure the Jill & Jessa: Counting On specials that Duggar critics are working so hard to kill.
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]