A shocking photo shared by Jinger Duggar, who stars on Jill & Jessa: Counting On, has fans scratching their heads and accusing Jinger of potentially harming her 5-year-old nephew. In the controversial photo, shared over the Duggar family Facebook page, Jinger’s nephew, Michael, is shown curled up asleep in the backseat of a Duggar family car, clutching a sheepskin blanket — and without proper child safety restraints. Michael is the son of Anna and Josh Duggar, and he was out with Jinger as she went shopping.
The innocent-looking snap was captioned “Look at this photo Jinger sent us! Seems like her little shopping buddy needed some rest!” Although there’s no evidence Jinger Duggar was driving when the photo was taken, fans have been quick to point out that there’s also no evidence that Jinger used the right equipment to properly restrain the boy.
According to an Arkansas State Police handout, children under 8-years-old, like Michael Duggar, should be properly restrained with both a lap belt and a shoulder belt, and both should be snug against a child’s body. A child that is 5-years-old or younger must also ride in a car seat.
The backlash against Jinger Duggar and the photo was fast. One fan quickly pointed out that while Jinger should have complied with Arkansas state laws, Michael Duggar should also have been given “a high back booster or a harness.”
The same Facebook user pointed out that while Jinger “probably wasn’t driving when the photo was taken,” she likely was “driving with him in that position.” The child safety advocate concluded that Michael Duggar “wasn’t properly restrained. Period.”
Another critic pointed out that even “if he were in a backless booster and that booster is being hidden by the blanket in the photo, a backless/no back booster isn’t even an appropriate seat for a 5yo anyway” [sic].
The photo isn’t the first time Jinger has been criticized. Earlier this month, Duggar was accused of faking scenes in Jill & Jessa: Counting On, in which she is seen buying and selling a car.
After the episode aired, an Arkansas man named Eric came forward to prove the scenes with Jinger were faked to create good television. Playing the role of a man interested in buying a car from Jinger, Eric was portrayed as someone who had never met Dugger before.
According to Eric, though, the opposite is true. The man posted on Facebook to explain that he actually knew one of the production crew members, writing that “[a] friend of mine works on the crew and invited me to play the role of ‘guy who wants to buy car.’ “
Fans claim it was obvious the scene was faked, complaining that Jinger and her brothers seemed “rather vague on the price and how the car ran,” and it “was totally obvious” Jinger was acting, and “even more so when they agreed to a price and then it later ‘fell through.’ “
It’s not the first time the Duggar family has been accused of contriving scenes. During one episode of 19 Kids & Counting, the Duggar clan brought food to a needy family. After the episode aired, an eyewitness claimed that a producer instructed the family receiving the food, telling them “[l]et’s go over this… You’re really happy that the Duggars have brought you this food; you really need this for your family.” The witness also reported that when the shoot was over, the family didn’t get to keep the box of food; instead it was “placed back into the Duggars’ SUVs.”
What do you think? Did Jinger Duggar put her nephew in danger? Leave a comment below!
[Image via Instagram]