Derick Dillard, who joined the Duggar family in 2014, less than a year before a release of records would bring the family a new type of notoriety, has been creating controversy of his own. On social media, Derick has called out a young transgender child, calling her a “non-reality,” misgendering her, and leading TLC, the network that airs the reality show on which Derick regularly appears, to release a statement distancing itself from his words.
A short time later, Derick announced that he, his wife Jill Duggar Dillard, and his two sons, Sam and Israel, would all be staying in the United States, rather than returning to their second home in Central America, where they say they’re leading a ministry to those who wouldn’t ever hear the gospel otherwise.
Rumors began to circulate that Jill and Derick Dillard had been fired by SOS Ministries, which the Duggar family has been associated with for years, because of Derick’s negative comments about a teen girl. According to Christian Post, these rumors began their life in the words of an anonymous online forum member, who said that the attacks on Jazz Jennings, who also has a reality show on TLC, were the last straw after the Dillard couple had also failed to learn adequate Spanish and had depicted their mission area in a bad light.
When TLC updated the Counting On Facebook page, depicting Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo and Jessa and Ben Seewald in their cover photo and Joy and Austin Forsyth in their profile picture, viewers wondered if Jill and Derick had been left out intentionally. Josh and Anna Duggar have been left out of most of the show’s media since a police report released in 2015 showed Josh had been accused of serial molestation of underage girls, and viewers were quick to wonder if Derick Dillard and his family were being similarly phased out. Since there are five married couples among Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s children, the absence of one pair was striking.
On Saturday, Derick took time on social media to address these rumors. He did not deny that he had been fired, either from the show or SOS Ministries, or that the source of the rumor had inside information. Instead, he focused on warning Duggar fans about spreading such tales.
However, a short time after this admonishment, Dillard returned again to social media to ask the viewers their opinions on what he should do next — would they prefer to see blog posts, or videos?
Some of Jill and Derick’s near future plans have already been shared — Cross Church featured them in photos of students joining the church’s year-long School of Ministry.
Derick Dillard has not stated whether he and Jill will be using these lessons to further ministry efforts outside the U.S., or if his studies will merely support his blogging or vlogging and social media outreach. While the Duggar family also has not addressed whether rumors about Jill and Derick being removed from their ministry post and the show are true, it’s clear that the couple is making some plans for their family for the near future, outside reality television stardom.
[Featured Image by Jill Duggar Dillard/Instagram]