The 32-year-old is one of many former followers of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) featured in Prime Video’s four-part series, which debuted on Friday, June 2. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar‘s daughter appeared alongside her husband, Derick Dillard, and cousin Amy Duggar in the deep dive into the Duggar family’s rise to stardom — and fall into scandal.
“There’s a story that’s going to be told,” Jill said in the first look at the series last month. “And I would rather be the one telling it.”
Jill and her siblings got their start on TLC in 2008 with the premiere of 19 Kids and Counting. The reality series gave fans a glimpse inside the lives of the Duggar family, who raised their children to follow strict fundamentalist beliefs and conservative lifestyles.
After 10 seasons, TLC canceled the show in 2015 after Jill’s brother Josh Duggar was accused of molesting several girls when he was a teenager — some of whom were his sisters. Jill and her sister Jessa Duggar were later identified as some of the victims, and they appeared on Megyn Kelly‘s show at the time to defend their family’s name.
“This was something that’s already been dealt with,” Jill said through tears during the 2015 broadcast, claiming that she felt “revictimization” through the media frenzy surrounding the scandal. “We’ve already forgiven Josh. We’ve moved on.”
Looking back on the situation nearly 10 years later, Jill confessed in Shiny Happy People that she would’ve handled it differently. “I believe strongly that victims should always be protected. Victims should always be cared for,” she said.
Jill claimed she felt “obligated” to downplay her brother’s actions for the sake of her family. “It’s not something I’m proud of,” she added.
The Arkansas native — who shares three sons with Dillard — wasn’t eager to speak about the 2015 controversy on camera. Elsewhere in the docuseries, she hesitated to address Josh’s 2021 arrest and subsequent sentencing for receiving and possessing child pornography. The scandal prompted TLC to officially cut ties with the Duggars, axing the spinoff series Counting On. (Josh is currently serving time in a Texas prison and is expected to be released in October 2032.)
Before Shiny Happy People premiered, producers Olivia Crist and Julia Willoughby Nason opened up about how they approached the sensitive topic of the Duggar family’s reputation and their ties to the controversial IBLP world.
“What we ultimately explore in the show is — there’s the shiny, happy facade, and then beneath the surface is this insidious cult behind the family, called the IBLP,” Willoughby Nason explained on the “Reality Life With Kate Casey” in May. “The Duggars are a jumping off point for us for a much, much larger story. … This sort of structure is just ripe with abuse.”
The team hopes viewers come away with a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the Duggar brood and the lifestyle they follow. “A lot of things have been swept under the rug that should have been looked into,” Willoughby Nason added. “I think once you watch the show, you know … there’s a lot that should have been looked into that wasn’t.”
Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is available now on Prime Video. Scroll down for the biggest revelations: