TLC officially parted ways with 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On star Derick Dillard late last year. Since then, Derick has remained a lightning rod for controversy thanks to his continued pleas for donations and his lack of restraint on Twitter.
During a recent string of tweets doubling down on his stance that transgender is a “myth” and that TLC is using transgender teen Jazz Jennings to push a liberal agenda, Derick defended himself and his family against accusations that the Dillards are just as guilty for promoting their conservative Christian agenda on their reality show — and getting paid for it to boot. Derick dodged the agenda question, but he did tackle the “getting paid” claim by saying he and Jill were “volunteers” on the shows.
We will delve into whether or not Jill and Derick got paid by TLC in a minute, but first, here’s what Derick stated:
TWEETER: Your job is to protect your kids. Not use them as meal tickets.
DERICK: Does that mean I shouldn’t have gotten the hospital lunch while my son was in the NICU for 2 weeks?
TWEETER: You still haven’t answered if @TLC compensated you for your children’s appearances. If that’s how you chose to do things in your family then I suppose that’s up to you but it’s pretty damn hypocritical to turn around and accuse others of exploiting children when you do the same.
Derick then responded to an Inquisitr article titled “Derick Dillard Spills: ‘Exploitation’ By TLC, Sam In The NICU, More” with this tweet:
We even requested that they help with some of the medical expenses from the birth that they made a pretty penny on, but they refused to help cover any of those costs. It was close to a year before we made the last medical payment.
A Twitter user pointed out that if Jill and Derick were being paid to be on the show, then TLC had no obligation to cover their medical expenses. Derick’s response:
We could pay for it fine; I had a great job. The point is, I thought that at least since they were making money off the birth special episode, they could help soften the burden a little. And no, as far as we could tell, we were volunteers and hadn’t been paid anything 4 the show
Like I said, for the year we were paying off our son’s birth expenses, both Jill and I thought we had been volunteering our time to help out. Both of us. TLC should approach all adults if they expect any obligation from them, so they can evaluate their own situation.
Derick’s claims seemed strangely vague thanks to qualifiers like “as far as we could tell” and “both Jill and I thought we had been volunteering our time to help out.” Most people would know with certainty whether or not that had been paid to be on a reality show, right?
Regardless, Derick’s comments raised a lot of eyebrows — especially among those who regard the Duggar family as cult-like. It would be naíve to think that the Duggar family isn’t being compensated handsomely for their shows, given patriarch Jim Bob Duggar’s business acumen and how hugely popular 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On are.
But could it be that some (or all) of the family members and their spouses — like Jill and Derick — signed away their appearance fees and let all their payments go through Jim Bob? That would appear to be the only logical conclusion if we’re to take Derick’s comments seriously. And his vagueness could easily be because of a non-disclosure agreement, or not wanting to rock the Duggar boat too much by upsetting Jim Bob. (He just wanted to rock the boat enough to have some coins fall out.)
If you’re wondering if it would be in any way legal for Jim Bob to serve as the sole recipient of compensation for the family, someone familiar with TLC and Discovery contracts provided her insight to the Duggar Family News Facebook page, and the answer looks to be a resounding “Yes.”
The source points out that Jim Bob owns a production company located in Arkansas. While some states require minors participating in the production of a reality series to have a trust set up in their names, Arkansas is not one of them.
From a VERY in depth article written by Steph Bazzle for Inquisitr:
Arkansas, where the Duggar family lives and where most filming takes place, doesn’t have such strict laws for child performers as some states. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, seven states may require a portion of income to be placed in a trust for a minor child to access upon adulthood. Arkansas only requires a permission form from the parent and a written statement from the school principal regarding the child’s academic standing. In the Duggar household, the principal would be Jim Bob Duggar, making him the sole arbiter of the camera’s access to his underage kids.
“Okay so first off what they typically do is have the main talent or proxy of the main talent sign the contract,” the Duggar Family News source says. “Since Jim Bob has a production company I would assume the over-18 Duggars are under contract with him and he just signs waivers for the under-18 children. The husbands/suitors are probably getting appearance fees, which for a show like that are probably in the $2000-$4000 an episode range.”
The source then explains that if the above is true, then Jim Bob would more than likely set it up so that all of the income received would go into a trust belonging to a corporation. “He probably puts the money in a living trust with him as the majority shareholder,” the source continues. “The income therefore isn’t taxed if the money is being spent on the trust beneficiaries, hence the houses as payment.”
And here’s some more insight and speculation:
Because Jim Bob would be head of the trust, that would mean he controls all the purse strings (think Britney Spears’ arrangement with her father). He wouldn’t be paying them a salary, but to keep taxes at a minimum, I would assume he was some sort of living expense allowance in the trust. As the head of an S Corp, he would be paid a quarterly fee to manage the trust, and since I would assume he’s the majority shareholder, he would also be entitled to all profit at the end of the fiscal year.
Contracts for shows like 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On are often for lengthy periods of time, the source adds, with seven years being the industry standard. If Derick and Jill have signed a contract that puts them at the mercy of Jim Bob Duggar for payment, then it would make sense that Derick is lashing out — especially if Jim Bob did not loosen the purse strings to help them out with their NICU expenses, which looks to be the case.
Perhaps it was the huge medical bills that had Derick and/or Jill taking another long look at their contracts, and perhaps that played into their falling out with TLC? The timeline matches up, and it would make sense out of a situation that contains a lot of question marks — including an explanation for why Derick keeps trying to raise money to help pay for his enrollment in a missionary program.
Meanwhile, Derick has deleted all of the tweets in which he implies that he and Jill were not compensated (or were “volunteers”) during their time on the show. I assume that means he was either reprimanded by TLC’s legal department over NDA issues, or else Jim Bob opened the money faucets a bit — or perhaps a combination of both.
Derick threw up his virtual hands at one point and gave up, but not before joking about putting out a book to explain. (Just make sure Jim Bob doesn’t own the publishing rights!)
I am not a fan of Derick Dillard AT ALL, but I have to give him credit for taking the time to respond to criticism — especially when it comes from Twitter accounts like “Shovelface Dullard.”
This is all absolutely fascinating to me! The fuse of curiosity has been lit, and, given the passion of Duggar detractors and the media, I think this bomb will explode before it can be defused. In other words, someone is going to find out whether or not the Duggar children and their spouses get paid or whether or not it all goes through Jim Bob — it’s just a matter of time.
And even if it isn’t online Duggar True Detectives getting it done, there is always the Duggar sisters’ lawsuit. I assume that part of their request for damages stemming from the details of the Josh Duggar molestation being released is due to the impact it has had on their potential earnings, in which case their contracts would be susceptible to a discovery motion.
While we all wait for the truth to come out, here is the full Facebook post by Duggar Family News for your perusal: