Viewers of the TLC reality show Counting On have wondered for a while what’s going on with Jill and Derick Dillard and their sons, Israel and Sam. Since returning from Central America, the Dillard family has left the show (accounts vary regarding whether they did so voluntarily). Viewers have questioned what happened with Sam’s birth, why Derick really left the show, and how Jill feels now about growing up on camera. Now, Derick has opened up and provided a lot of this information.
Derick has been complaining for some time that kids, such as Jazz Jennings and the students murdered in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, are being “used” by the media to promote an agenda. Lately, many social media followers are firing back, asking Derick if he doesn’t think that he and Jill have done the same by showcasing their children on Counting On. They’ve asked whether, if he considers Jazz to be exploited on her reality show, he also believes Jill Dillard and her siblings were exploited growing up on 19 Kids And Counting.
Derick has sidestepped these questions for a while, but on Tuesday night, he answered. A viewer questioned whether Derick thought it was okay to exploit his kids on television, and for his in-laws to exploit their children. He denies that he and Jill are doing so — but not that his in-laws are.
We’ve never chosen to do that.— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
In fact, when pressed, Derick won’t deny that he believes his in-laws are exploiting their kids — he’ll only maintain that he and Jill aren’t a part of it anymore.
We’re not a part of that.— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
Not my show.— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
He even agrees with one viewer who says that Duggars are getting lots of money from putting their kids and their political agenda on television. Derick responds, calling it ‘sad’ and again blaming ‘the media.’
Making lots of $$$ off all those kids— Bonnie Thomas (@fluffygurl02) March 3, 2018
I know it’s sad what you the media will do these days for a quick buck!— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
Dillard also dishes on getting paid for the times he and his wife and kids did appear on television, maintaining he hasn’t been paid for appearances on television or in magazines.
Never did that.— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
Nope, I haven’t.— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
While People Magazine’s release about Jill and Derick Dillard’s secondborn child mentioned the difficulties in labor (40 hours of labor followed by a c-section), there was no answer for what many fans were asking. The first photos released led viewers to think the youngest Dillard might be struggling medically and spending time in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
Eight months later, as a side note in a tweet about using his son as a “meal ticket” (though Derick must know a meal eaten at the hospital is actually charged to Jill and Sams hospital bill), Dillard confirms that Sam spent two weeks in NICU — though he still isn’t saying why.
Does that mean I shouldn’t have gotten the hospital lunch while my son was in the NICU for 2 weeks?— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
In a series of tweets late Tuesday night, Derick also asserted that he had tried to contact Jazz Jennings. In context, he appears to be saying he wanted to offer help since he thinks Jazz is being exploited by her family and TLC, though he didn’t say so too explicitly. However, he responded to a link in which Pickles and Hairspray, a Facebook page following the Duggar family, asked this specifically.
“Derick claims to care about the kids….does he really? Derick has never reached out to Jazz Jennings to ask her if she is okay. If he truly thinks adults are manipulating Jazz then reach out!”
Dillard’s response was to maintain that he has tried to reach out to Jazz, who he again misgenders in his tweet.
Guess what... I’ve tried to reach out, but it’s not that easy without a way to contact him. Do you really think everything in reality is only what’s public? How would you know if I tried to reach out?!— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) March 7, 2018
Since Jill and Derick Dillard left their family’s reality show (though Jill has appeared on the current season, Derick says she’s no longer filming and that he decided this for his whole family) he has reported joining a course his church provides for missionary training. However, despite many viewer inquiries, Derick hasn’t confirmed what kind of paid work he’s doing, though he says that he does have a regular job as well.