A TV star has been fired for transphobic comments against a teenager.
Derick Dillard, who rose to fame through the reality show 17 Kids and Counting and was starring in Counting On, repeatedly targeted trans teen Jazz Jennings.
Jennings’ reality show I Am Jazz has spent three seasons on TLC, where Dillard’s show is also screened.
Despite sharing a network with the 17-year-old, Dillard has transphobically attacked Jennings in an onslaught that is now months old.
Quote-tweeting a promotional tweet for Jennings’ programme in August, Dillard wrote: “What an oxymoron… a ‘reality’ show which follows a non-reality.
“‘Transgender’ is a myth,” he continued. “Gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God.”
He followed this up a few days later by writing: “It seems truth is relative these days. So glad my God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! His word is always perfect! #Hebrews13”.
Jennings responded cooly, tweeting: “Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story. Today was no different.”
TLC decided not to take any action against Dillard at the time, but his actions over the past few days have seemingly made his starring position on the network untenable.
He has posted even more hateful tweets, repeatedly misgendering Jazz and suggesting there is a conspiracy to make kids trans.
“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,” Dillard wrote.
“It’s sad that [people] would use a juvenile this way. Again, nothing against him, just unfortunate what’s on tv these days.”
The reality star rebuked accusations from other Twitter users that his remarks constituted bullying and were “really hurtful” to Jennings.
“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.
“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 continued.
“Jazz is being taken advantage of, as part of a larger agenda. I really have nothing against the kid and wish him all the best in life. I just hate seeing him used this way.”
This was the last straw for TLC, with the company tweeting on Saturday that Dillard was no longer welcome on the network which made him famous.
“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,” it stated.
“We want to reiterate that Derick’s personal statements do not reflect the views of the network.
“TLC is proud to share the story of Jazz Jennings and her family and will continue to do so.”
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, it seems.
Especially when you’re a transphobe.