Jill (Duggar) Dillard and her husband Derick spoke out, a week after her family’s TLC show, Counting on, has been cancelled.

Jill, 30, and Derick, 32, had not been featured on Counting on over the past four years, although several of Jill’s siblings have remained in the popular series. The couple’s exit in 2017 came as Derick faced backlash for expressing transphobic feelings online.

In a statement posted to their website on Monday, they began: “Our statement on the cancellation of ‘Counting On’ is a bit late because we just heard the news with the rest of the world last Tuesday + this season of Life is pretty busy for We first heard about the cancellation when a friend and cousin each texted us after seeing TLC’s statement online. We don’t know how long it’s been since. ‘cancellation was planned. “

They continued, “It has been over 4 years now since we chose to retire from the show and, although we were initially prohibited from sharing our decision to quit the show, we have opened up a bit more recently. on our social networks. “

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Official of the Dillard family / Youtube Derick Dillard and Jill Duggar

Jill and Derick, who share sons Israel David, 6, and Samuel Scott, 3, went on to say that they left the show to seek more “freedom and authenticity” in their lives.

“During our years on the show, we have had many great experiences with the network, and several of the crew have even become like family to us!” they said. “However, we also faced a lot of pressures and unexpected challenges that forced us to step away from the show in an effort to gain more control over our own lives and do what was best for our family.”

“The pursuit of freedom and authenticity has been a growing theme in our lives. Our story is still being written, and this event is just one more step towards that goal. family of 19 children and counting and Counting on allowed us to make our own decisions, including being able to choose what to share. For now, we will move forward on our own terms, and we look forward to all the opportunities that the future holds ”, he concluded.

Counting on premiered on TLC in 2015. The series was a spin-off of 19 children and count, which followed Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar and their 19 children and ran from 2008 to 2015.

RELATED: Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar speak out after TLC canceled Counting on – ‘Difficult and painful moments’

CCM Counting on

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Last Tuesday, TLC confirmed that it “will not produce additional seasons of Counting on“, Adding that the network” considers it important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to resolve their situation in private. “

The “situation” mentioned in the network’s statement alludes to recent public scandals involving the oldest Duggar child, Josh Duggar. Following an arrest in April, Josh, 33, pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges; he is awaiting trial in November.

Prosecutors believe Josh had more than 200 images of children on his computer. If convicted of the alleged crimes, he could face up to 20 years in prison and up to $ 250,000 in fines for each of his two counts, which equates to a possible total sentence of 40 years.

RELATED: Jill Duggar Dillard Posts on Importance of ‘Community’ Amid Brother Josh Duggar Arrest

Cancellation of 19 children and count in 2015 also came amid a controversy surrounding Josh.

At the time, the Duggars made headlines when news broke that Josh allegedly assaulted five underage girls as a teenager. Two of his sisters, Jill and Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, then introduced themselves as two of the victims, claiming that they had already “moved” and forgave their brother when the news surfaced.

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Jill has had a somewhat rocky relationship with her very religious and ultra-conservative family in recent years. Her inability to dictate many aspects of her life ultimately caused her and Derick to distance themselves from the famous band.

“I didn’t expect it to happen or get to this point,” Jill told PEOPLE last October. “But I realize that I can’t set a timeframe for healing. I love my family and they love me. I really have to follow God’s example and take it one day at a time.”

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