Derick Dillard (left) previously starred in TLC’s “Counting On,” while Jazz Jennings (right) stars in the network’s show, “I Am Jazz.” D DIPASUPIL/GETTY; MATT BARON/BEI/SHUTTERSTOCK
TLC has officially severed its ties with former “Counting On” star Derick Dillard after he criticized another one of the network’s stars, transgender teen Jazz Jennings.
On Saturday, the network released a statement on Twitter explaining that it has severed ties with Dillard, husband of former “19 Kids and Counting” star Jill Duggar, due to his comments regarding Jennings, star of the series, “I Am Jazz.”
“We want to let our viewers know that Derick Dillard has not participated in ‘Counting On’ for months and the network has no plans to feature him in the future. We want to reiterate that Derick’s personal statements do not reflect the views of the network,” the statement reads. “TLC is proud to share the story of Jazz jennings and her family and will continue to do so.”
The controversy began after Dillard refused to use feminine pronouns when referring to Jennings, who decided to transgender from male to female at a young age.
“I pity Jazz, 4 those who take advantage of him in order 2 promote their agenda, including the parents who allow these kinds of decisions 2 be made by a child. It’s sad that ppl would use a juvenile this way. Again, nothing against him, just unfortunate what’s on tv these days,” he wrote.
The father-of-two later added, “Also, has anyone looked into whether a child is capable of making that kind of decision. We can’t vote til we’re 18; our brains aren’t fully developed til around 25.”
Dillard also hit back at critics who accused him of bullying the teenage reality star.
“Never bullied anyone, just said I didn’t agree with what is being propagated on TV,” he said. “I’m expressing my view of what should be treated as reality; if I say I feel like I am Nepali, that doesn’t make me so.”
Previously, Dillard replied to a tweet from TLC urging people watch “I Am Jazz” by pointing out that gender is ordained by God at birth.
“What an oxymoron… a ‘reality’ show which follows a non-reality,” he wrote. “‘Transgender’ is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God.”
At the time, Jennings responded: “Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story. Today was no different.”
This is not the first time the Duggar family has offended the LGBT community; in 2014, matriarch Michelle Duggar campaigned against an anti-discrimination bill in Fayetteville, Arkansas, saying, “I don’t believe… citizens… would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls.”