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
Derick Dillard has claimed he wasn’t fired from TLC’s “Counting On” series due to his comments about transgender teen Jazz Jennings, explaining he and his family decided to “cut ties” with the network on their own accord.
“Unbelievable what’s considered newsworthy these days, but then again, this is how I first heard that I was ‘fired,'” Dillard, who is married to Duggar daughter Jill, tweeted Friday. “For the record, I was never fired.”
Dillard’s comment was in response to a Fox News tweet that reads: “TLC cuts all ties with Derick Dillard after more transphobic comments against Jazz Jennings.”
The 28-year-old father-of-two went on to insist that it was his decision to step away from the network.
“I just felt it best for my family to cut ties months ago, as we are heading in a different direction,” Dillard wrote.
In response to a question from one of his Twitter followers, he revealed that his entire family has not been filming “Counting On,” answering “correct” when asked, “so you guys aren’t on the show anymore?!”
Reports TLC officially severed its ties with Dillard came last month after after he refused to use feminine pronouns when referring to Jennings, who decided to transition 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.
Dillard 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.”
He 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.”
The network subsequently released a statement about no longer working with Dillard.
“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,” TLC said in a statement on Twitter earlier this month. “TLC is proud to share the story of Jazz Jennings and [his] family and will continue to do so.”
Shortly after, Dillard launched a donation campaign page on GoFundMe and explained his family hopes to return to the mission field.
“I have a donations goal of $10,000. This will enable me to fulfill my specific calling to ministry this year, including trips for Gospel-advancement and humanitarian work in Northwest Arkansas, North America, and abroad,” he wrote in the campaign. “The Cross Church School of Ministry is a one-year, ministry, residency experience that I believe will be a key asset in not only my vocational ministry, but also in my personal development.”