The 25-year-old Welcome to Plathville star took to her Instagram Story to discuss the Prime Video episodes. “That was my life up until a few years ago,” she said on Saturday, June 3. “A little triggering to watch, but also there is solidarity in having other people speak up and say, ‘Yep, you’re not crazy, happened to me too. I know about this.’ That is healing in a way.”
Olivia claimed that she received an “overwhelming response from people saying, ‘Please, let’s talk about this,'” after the four-part series was released on Friday, June 2. “I will say, the realm in which my public life exists, there’s a lot of things I can’t say,” she added. “There’s a lot of things I want to say about religion, about my past, about the world that I went right back into. … I’m jumping on to say my experience, to be honest, was decently negative.”
The TLC star confessed that she’s “not really religious anymore” after being raised in a strict conservative household. “There’s a lot of things that I laugh about now, because what else are you supposed to do?” she noted.
Welcome to Plathville premiered in 2019, focusing on Barry and Kim Plath and their nine children: Ethan, Hosanna, Micah, Moriah, Lydia, Isaac, Amber, Cassia and Mercy. The big brood resides on a farm in rural Georgia and follow a Christian fundamentalist lifestyle.
Tensions arose between Ethan, 25, and his parents after he exchanged vows with Olivia in 2018. “When we were dating, I knew that I was being controlled in what we were allowed to do, what we’re allowed to say,” Olivia exclusively told Us Weekly in August 2021, adding that she noticed “a pattern” of her mother-in-law attempting to “make decisions for me.”
The photographer revealed via her Instagram Story that same month that she and Ethan were “much happier” after distancing themselves from Barry, 55, and Kim, 50. “The show has brought so many people, experiences, growing opportunities, self-reflection and fun times into my life. … We decided to do what was best for us and [cut] contact,” she explained.
The Plath family’s series debuted more than a decade after the Duggars got their start with 19 Kids and Counting. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar‘s daughter Jill Duggar opened up about her childhood and past involvement in the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) in Shiny Happy People, claiming that she “never received any payout” for her time on reality TV.
“No check, no cash, no nothing,” she told the cameras. “For seven and a half years of my adult life, I was never paid.”
Jill, 32, and her husband, Derick Dillard, appeared on the family’s Counting On spinoff before ultimately deciding to leave the show in 2017. Like Olivia and Ethan, the couple have tried to forge their own path.
“There’s been some distancing there,” Jill said of her relationship with her extended family in a 2020 YouTube video. “We’re not on the best terms with some of my family. We’ve had some disagreements, but we’re working toward healing definitely and restoration, but we’re having to kind of just take some time and heal.”
Ahead of the doc’s premiere, Jill’s parents issued a rare public statement addressing the footage. “Like other families, ours too has experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life, just in a very public format,” the pair wrote via their website on Thursday, June 1. “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 added: “We have always believed that the best chance to repair damaged relationships, or to reconcile differences, is through love 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.”