Voicing their opinion. Minutes after Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets dropped on Amazon Prime on Thursday, June 1, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar released a statement rebuking its contents. 

“The recent ‘documentary’ that talks about our family 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 wrote on their website. “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, noting that they believe conflict is best mended in a “private setting.” 

“We love every 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,” Jim Bob and Michelle concluded. 

The expository documentary includes not only a deep dive into the Duggar family’s rise to fame and power, but features family members Jill Dillard (née Duggar) and Amy King (née Duggar). Among a myriad of confessions, ranging from Michelle’s alleged use of a “baby voice” to Jill feeling “obligated” to defend brother Josh Duggar amid his 2015 molestation scandal, the former reality stars claim that Jim Bob, 57, is in control of the large family. 

“My dad does control a lot of things in the family,” Jill, 32, said in the fourth and final episode of the series. “Family relationships were already kinda rocky … Everything within the family dynamic has shifted, and not for the better.”

Amy Duggar Message to IBLP Survivors: Read Statement
Courtesy of Amy King/Instagram

Amy, 35, and husband Dillon King further claimed, “They don’t talk to us and so for us, we don’t know what’s going on.”

If rising to power within his own family wasn’t enough, former friends of Jim Bob’s further alleged that the patriarch has replaced the leader of  the Institute of Basic Life Principles, Bill Gothard, in the non-denominational Christian organization established in 1961.

“Because Mr. Gothard has been taken out of [IBLP], from what my understanding is, is that Jim Bob and Michelle are now his replacement,” former friends Jim and Bobye Holt claimed in the new Amazon Prime docuseries, with Bobye adding that she believes Jim Bob is “trying to emulate Bill Gothard.”

Further still, Jill and husband Derick Dillard went as far as asserting that they did not see a penny from their years on reality TV, alleging that all negotiations with TLC were done solely by Jim Bob. The patriarch agreed to give them a “lump sum” that amounted to a minimum wage job, and the couple ultimately turned down the paycheck due to the strings attached.

“In order to receive that, you had to sign another deal with my dad and his production company, Mad Family, Inc,” Jill said. “It would be like forever. We were automatically like, ‘We’re done.’”

Of the family members’ participation in the documentary, codirector and executive producer Olivia Crist told In Touch exclusively that the team was “just humbled and honored” that Jill “trusted” them with her experiences.

“It’s super intimidating to come down, sit down, tell your story. Especially with all that she’s been through and all that the other survivors in our show have been through too,” Crist said, while executive producer Cori Shepherd Stern added that Jill “took time to think about it and really make a deep, personal decision” to share her story.

The team behind the documentary offered Jim Bob and Michelle, 56, the chance to participate, but they declined.

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