Duggars Docuseries Producers on Helping Jill and Amy to Feel ‘Comfortable’ Discussing Past ‘Trauma’ in Show

Duggars Docuseries Producers on Helping Jill and Amy to Feel ‘Comfortable’ Discussing Past ‘Trauma’ in Show

When sharing their truths for Prime Video’s Shiny Happy, cousins Jill (Duggar) Dillard and Amy (Duggar) King had the full support of the production team. The four-part limited series, which premiered on Friday, examines the numerous scandals that have been associated with the Duggar family and their radical religious organization, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP).Cori Shepherd, one of the docuseries producers, exclusively tells PEOPLE that making sure Jill, 32, and Amy, 36, were “comfortable” throughout filming was of the utmost importance.

“I think one of the things that our company is really known for is giving survivors a voice. We did that with LuLaRich. [Fellow Shiny Happy People producer] Blye [Faust] did it so beautifully with Spotlight, of course. And I’ve done it as well on other projects,” Shepherd says. “I think that’s really what motivates us. … Everybody has a voice. This is amplifying the voices, giving them the platform. That’s what I thought was important.””We made [that intention] clear” to Jill and Amy throughout the filming process, Shepherd notes.
“That’s what we were here for. They could talk about what they were comfortable speaking about,” she continues. “We weren’t going to be super invasive and really work hard on trauma-informed interviewing so that we weren’t at any point being hurtful to people who had already been through so much.”

Faust also shares that the Shiny Happy People team “reached out to a number of family members and the ones who came on were Amy, Jill, and Deanna Duggar, Jim Bob’s sister, who was great.”

“We really wanted to make sure we gave everybody the opportunity to speak their piece if they wanted to come on the record,” Faust adds. “The three that you see in there are the ones who are willing to come on the record.”Both Jill and Amy are emotional throughout the docuseries as they recount their experiences. Jill, in particular, opened up about the aftermath of her brother Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal.

Josh, 35, admitted to molesting at least five young girls — including younger sisters Jill Jessa (Duggar) Seewald — when he was between the ages of 12 and 15.

Years after the incidents, both women — who were then starring on the family’s TLC show 19 Kids & Counting (later renamed Counting On) — took part in a Fox News interview with Megyn Kelly, downplaying the severity of the situation.

“In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done the Megyn Kelly stuff,” Jill said in the docuseries while tearing up. “I felt like I was in a place, again, of bearing the burden and the weight.”


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