TLC Fires Reality TV Star After Months of Transphobic Comments Aimed at Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings, TLC, I Am Jazz
John Salangsang/Invision/AP

Jazz Jennings will have one less thing to worry about when she has to go into the TLC offices in the future. Over the weekend the network, which airs the transgender teen’s show, I Am Jazz, fired a star of another reality program for transphobic remarks made about the teen going back as far as August.

Derick Dillard, who appeared in 17 Kids and Counting and Counting On repeatedly targeted Jennings with a slew of tweets. “What an oxymoron... a ‘reality’ show which follows a non-reality,” wrote Dillard, referring to Jennings’ show. “Transgender is a myth,” he continued, “gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God.”

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For her part, Jennings was remained unfazed. “Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story,” she tweeted. “Today was no different.”  

Later, Dillard’s tweets got more personal and he began misgendering Jennings. “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,” he tweeted. “It’s sad that [people] would use a juvenile this way. Again, nothing against him, just unfortunate what’s on tv these days.”

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After Twitter users called Dillard out on his apparent cyber-bullying he attempted to defend himself—while still misgendering Jennings. “Jazz is being taken advantage of, as part of a larger agenda,” he wrote. “I really have nothing against the kid and wish him all the best in life. I just hate seeing him used this way.”

That’s when TLC stepped in to set the record straight. “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,” the network wrote in a release. “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.” Jennings re-tweeted the statement and added some positive closure of her own:  

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