The heads of the Duggar clan have called out the ‘media’ for its ‘ill-intentions’ with an upcoming documentary they say is ‘derogatory and sensationalized.’
Jim Bob, 57, and Michelle Duggar, 56, released a statement on Thursday ahead of the premiere of Amazon Prime’s ‘Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets,’ which purports to ‘expose the truth beneath the wholesome Americana surface of reality TV‘s favorite mega-family.’
It will feature the family’s fourth-eldest child, Jill, telling how her father stopped his children from being paid for their participation in the family’s lucrative TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, and will uncover the extreme length’s her dad took to try to cover up Josh Duggar’s molestation of his own sisters.
But the parents of the reality television family now say the documentary will hurt those they love, as they insist they care for each one of their children.
Jim Bob, 57, and Michelle Duggar, 56, (pictured) slammed ‘the media’ for its ‘ill-intentions’ with an upcoming documentary they say is ‘derogatory and sensationalized’
In a statement on Thursday, the couple claimed an Amazon Prime docuseries about their lives will hurt people they love
In their statement, posted to the family’s website, Jim Bob and Michelle said the documentary ‘is sad because in it we see the media and those with ill-intentions hurting people we love.
‘Like other families, ours too has experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life, just in a very public format,’ the couple began.
‘This “documentary” paints so much and so many in a derogatory and sensationalized way because sadly that’s the direction of entertainment these days,’ they continued.
‘We have always believed that the best chance to repair damaged relationships, or to reconcile differences is through love in a private setting. We love each member of our family and will continue to do all we can to have a good relationship with each one.
‘Through both the triumphs and the trials, we have clung to our faith all the more and discovered that through the love and grace of Jesus, we find strength, comfort and purpose,’ the celebrity couple concluded.
Their statement came just hours before the release of ‘Shiny Happy People’ on Amazon Prime, and shortly after Jill, 32, announced she is also writing a tell-all book about ‘the secrets, manipulation, and intimidation’ that she experienced behind the scenes of the hit reality show.
Amazon Prime’s ‘Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets’ purports to ‘expose the truth beneath the wholesome Americana surface of reality TV ‘s favorite mega-family
In a trailer for the new show, the couple’s fourth-eldest child, Jill, said: ‘There’s a story that’s going to be told. And I would rather be the one telling it.’ She is seen in the trailer with her husband Derick Dillard
The docuseries, which is to be released Friday, will feature several members of the Duggar, including Jill and husband Derick Dillard as well as Amy and spouse Dillon King.
In a trailer for the new show, Jill could be seen saying: ‘There’s a story that’s going to be told. And I would rather be the one telling it.’
Her sister, Jessa, 30, who was one of the few remaining older siblings known to have maintained a good relationship with her parents, is also seen in the trailer, looking downcast.
‘World domination was the goal,’ an unidentified man told the camera in the teaser, while discussing IBLP.
Someone else added: ‘The IBLP teachings aren’t Christianity. They’re something completely different.
‘The biggest feature of Bill Gothard’s teachings is authority. Kids obey the parents and wives obey their husbands. Everyone obeys Bill Gothard.’
‘He turned every father into a cult leader and every home into an island,’ said another person.
It also seems that the docuseries will delve into Josh Duggar’s child pornography charges. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison back in 2019.
Years prior to his arrest, an explosive police report emerged on the web that said the father-of-seven, 35, had admitted to molesting underage women, including four of his siblings – and that his own parents knew about it and failed to report the abuse.
‘How deep do we go? Because that’s a rabbit hole. Damn,’ a man said in the teaser, after an old clip of reporters discussing Josh’s scandal flashed across the screen.
Jill’s younger sister Jessa, 30, who was one of the few remaining older siblings known to have maintained a good relationship with her parents, is also seen in the trailer, looking downcast
It also seems that the docuseries will delve into Josh Duggar’s child pornography charges. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison back in 2019
Additionally, executive producers Olivia Crist and Julia Willoughby Nason have vowed to delve deeper into the Duggars’ controversial church – radical organization The Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), founded by shunned minister Bill Gothard in the 1960s.
Under the church’s rules church leaders controlled who the Duggar children could date and how they should dress.
Jim Bob and Michelle were also regularly seen in their reality show reading their children’s text messages, telling them what they were allowed to watch on TV and what music they could listen too, and even saying who they could be friends with.
But in an interview with People, Crist and Nason said the church went even further, describing it as a ‘pandemic of abuse.’
‘The far-reaching quality of this ideology was extremely shocking to me, especially how it’s so ingrained in our modern-day culture present day with the political stakes of our human rights at play here,’ Nason said.
‘That’s shocking to me. And what’s shocking to me, too, is listening to the survivor stories.
‘I feel like being a woman in this culture, whether I’m coming from a place of a high control system as IBLP or coming from not that place, just inherently being a woman, I could identify with the themes of abuse and trauma that were going through these people’s lifelines.’
Crist, too, argued the the IBLP culture is incredibly pervasive and said ‘there’s certainly a lot more’ that could have been covered.
The Duggars were thrusted into the spotlight with the show 19 Kids and Counting, which documented the family-of-21’s (pictured together previously) day-to-day lives as members of The Institute in Basic Life Principle
Jim Bob and Michelle were regularly seen in their reality show reading their children’s text messages, telling them what they were allowed to watch on TV and what music they could listen too, and even saying who they could be friends with
Apparently taking up that mantle, Jill announced on Thursday that she and her husband, Derick Dillard, are releasing a memoir detailing the ‘secrecy and lies’ that they were privy to during the family’s lengthy reign as reality TV’s greatest dynasty.
Jill has also revealed she is releasing a memoir detailing ‘the secrets, manipulation, and intimidation’ occurring behind the scenes of 19 Kids and Counting
The book Counting the Cost features Dillard, 34, as the co-author, and details the couple’s ‘painful journey’ of filming the hit reality TV show.
Sharing an image of the front cover, Jill wrote on Instagram: ‘Derick and I would like to announce that we have written a book, Counting the Cost, which details our painful journey as part of the reality-show-filming Duggar family.
‘As the picture on the cover conveys, the book is meant to reflect a story that has been difficult, yet hopeful.
She went on to acknowledge that while viewers of their show have been witness to the very public scandals that the family has become embroiled in over the past few years, no one could imagine the depths it went to for over 15 years.
‘The challenges we have faced, including lack of respect for boundaries, greed, manipulation, and betrayal, are not that much different than what many people in our audience have faced,’ she continued.
‘However, 15+ years of reality television, undergirded by secrecy and lies, is tantamount to pouring gasoline on the fire of our struggle,’ she wrote.
The mom-of-three ended her post by thanking God, time, and therapy for helping her ‘heal.’
‘Thanks to time, tears, truth, and therapy, God has begun to heal our wounds into scars. Though we would have never chosen this path, and it has cost us dearly, we want to use our voice to show others that there is hope beyond the pain,’ she concluded.