Why Did Joy and Austin Forsyth Leave ‘Counting On’?

Last week, Derick Dillard revealed that his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Austin and Joy Forsyth, had officially walked away from Counting On. Joy and Austin, who married in 2017, had appeared on several seasons of the series before deciding to walk away. To date, the only other couple who has voluntarily left the show is Derick and his wife, Jill Duggar. Now fans are wondering exactly why the couple left the show behind.

Derick confirmed Joy and Austin left Counting On after weeks of speculation

Fans had assumed Joy and Austin quit when promotional material for the current season was released. TLC released both photos and a trailer of the upcoming season, and fans quickly noticed Joy and Austin were nowhere to be found. That struck viewers as particularly odd, considering the fact that Joy’s pregnancy following a loss last summer likely would have been a major storyline. Family followers also noticed that Joy had taken ownership of her pregnancy announcement and gender reveal, too. All of the clues suggested Joy and Austin were no longer involved in Counting On, but they never officially announced their departure.  

Ben Seewald, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar, Jana Duggar, John David Duggar, Josiah Duggar and Joseph Duggar
Ben Seewald, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar, Jana Duggar, John David Duggar, Josiah Duggar, and Joseph Duggar | Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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In the days following Counting On’s season premier, Derick took to Instagram to discuss the show, and he had absolutely nothing nice to say about it or the Duggar family. Derick accused the network of manufacturing a false narrative for ratings, before levying additional allegations at Jim Bob Duggar, the family patriarch. The biggest bombshell to come from Derick’s Instagram tirade had nothing to do with Jim Bob, though. Derick revealed that Joy and Austin were allowed to attend family events even after quitting the show. Derick’s statement confirmed weeks of fan speculation.

Why did Derick and Jill leave the show?

Derick has been speaking out against TLC and Jim Bob in recent months, but his drama with the network and his in-laws appear to stretch back to 2017 when Jill and Derick walked away from Counting On. There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding why the couple no longer appears on the show, though. To hear Derick tell it, he and his wife were coerced and threatened into filming for several months before they decided to quit entirely. He claims they were threatened with lawsuits after they told the network they were no longer interested in participating.

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TLC, however, has a different story. The network has claimed Derick and Jill were booted by the series after Derick made derogatory comments about Jazz Jennings. Those comments appeared on Derick’s Twitter feed. Derick insists that he and his wife had stepped away from the show several months before he hurled the hateful comments at Jazz. He has yet to apologize for the incident.

Why did Joy and Austin Forsyth decide to quit Counting On?

Joy and Austin still have not acknowledged their departure, but that hasn’t stopped family followers from speculating about why the couple quit the series. One Reddit user noted that Joy and Austin appeared less frequently in the prior season of Counting On. That does appear to be true. Joy and Austin have their own business that they are running, and also help out at the Forsyth family’s controversial camp. Simply put, they appear to be busier than the other Duggar couples who appear on the show. They also seem to be financially independent of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

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Newsweek notes that Austin has been flipping houses for years, even before he married Joy. Once married, the couple embarked on the business together, and while Austin’s had a few bumps in the road, he appears to be pretty successful. Joy and Austin also recently moved into a home that was purchased from Jim Bob and Michelle. The purchase price of just $10 is a steal and seems to fall in line with how Jim Bob dulls out gifts for couples who participate in the show. Is it possible that Joy and Austin continued filming just long enough to get a free house out of the deal? Some critics think so.

It’s important to note that Joy and Austin, as well as Derick and Jill, are the only couples who are completely financially independent from Jim Bob. Since both couples can make their own money, they are free to make more of their own decisions. The rest of the Duggars who appear on the family’s show do not have jobs outside the family. Ben Seewald, who married Jessa Duggar in 2014., is employed as a tutor for the younger Duggar kids. Jeremy Vuolo, who married Jinger Duggar in 2016, is currently a student. Joseph, Josiah, and John David Duggar, who have all married in the last four years, are employed by their father, only.