I Am Jazz star Jazz Jennings has broken her silence on former Counting On star Derrick Dillard’s transphobic comments.
Derrick Dillard is “irrelevant” to 17-year-old Jazz Jennings, the star of TLC’s popular series I Am Jazz, after the former Counting On Star criticized her multiple times on social media, eventually leading TLC to cut ties with him.
“Honestly, I don’t give Derrick any of my attention. I don’t even read the tweets that he sends out anymore because I just don’t care. You know? He can say whatever. I think he’s doing it for attention,” Jennings, who underwent gender confirmation surgery in June, told Us Weekly.
The 17-year-old added that instead of listening to people who hold a “negative opinion” of her and “spread negativity,” she chooses to “listen to the people that are supportive who are saying great things —telling me that my message is meaningful and that I should continue telling my story.”
Dillard, who is married to and shares a son with Jill (Duggar) Dillard, drew backlash in June when he criticized the teen’s gender confirmation surgery on social media, claiming that “this kind of thinking should not be encouraged by media,” and that “a system that allows this kind of child abuse is clearly broken.”
Dillard’s criticizing of Jennings started months before that, however, when in August of 2017 he took to Twitter to claim that being transgender is a “myth” and “Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God.”
“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," Dillard wrote in a November tweet. "Again, nothing against him, just unfortunate what’s on tv these days."
That same month, TLC announced that Dillard and his wife would no longer be a part of their popular series Counting On, citing the star’s controversial statements as their reasoning for cutting ties.
“Derick’s personal statements do not reflect the views of the network,” the network said in a statement released at the time. “TLC is proud to share the story of Jazz Jennings and her family and will continue to do so.”0comments
Dillard and his wife have since been absent from all promotional material for the TLC series.
The next season of I Am Jazz, which will follow the teenager’s journey before and after her surgery, will return to TLC in 2019.