The youngest member of the Roloff clan came to be a fan favorite of the hit TLC show Little People Big World as the show continued to feature the lovable family bonding over their shared experiences.
But in the last couple of seasons, key members of the family have been missing. In the past 3 seasons, the marriages of Zack and Jeremy Roloff have become the focus of the show. Molly Roloff has been away at college and continues to make occasional appearances; however, Jacob Roloff, the youngest member of the family, has all but disappeared. Over the past year, Jacob and other members of the family have dropped a few hints about the source of the rift and Jacob's departure from the show.
Early on, Jacob himself spoke about feeling betrayed by his parents over money. "Man I wish it didn't feel like I was getting [expletive] out of the money from the show that was my childhood right now," he said on Twitter.
Later, on his Instagram, Jacob posted a heartfelt statement about how he didn't feel he had a choice when he was getting filmed and he wished he'd had more power over being a part of the show.
This is Jack. I've never felt I had more of an opportunity to influence someone's life than when I told him how much I didn't like filming when I was his age, so he knows just because the adults say it's what's best, doesn't mean it's what's best. Then after, I asked him how he felt about it and after a pause he said, "I like it medium", meaning not at all, which is exactly what I would've said at 7. Seeing him for the few days that I did and hanging out with him for the short time that I did was a crazy reflective experience, seeing what it looked like (more or less) to be a 7 year old thrown into different situations for your parents' ratings. He doesn't know that yet though. He's more of a central focus character in his family's show than I ever was, too, so there's more 'depending' on him; I can't imagine. Im hoping I get to see him again and how he turns out, and that what I said sticks with him.
In the past few months, comments that Jacob have made about his experience on the show have focused on the show's lack of authenticity.
I get comments on here all the time about how people 'miss me on the show' or telling me I should 'do a few more episodes' with the family; I'm posting this to say that that will never happen. For the sake of 'the episode' and ratings I've seen a lot of STORYLINES drawn up (loosely) about our lives, and when I was standing here, behind the scenes and watching it from an outside perspective I just couldn't stop laughing. Laughing at how hard the producers have to try to get us to follow the talking points, and at how ridiculous the talking points are. . To misquote Chomsky, "the primary objective of any system is to preserve the integrity of that system", meaning, the primary objective I have felt and observed over the years of the 'crew' is to preserve their job and preserve the ratings, which is up to you to be right or wrong. That's not to say they are all soulless corporate shills or something, there are and have been good people involved but that doesn't negate the fact that they do have their own personal agenda. For me, noticing how the agenda of the crew doesn't work well with the health & happiness of our family is what made me decide quite a while ago that I would not be a part of it as soon as I was able. . All in all I appreciate people wanting me to 'be with the family' for a few more episodes, but the family that is filmed is not my family. They are the Roloff Characters and I have scarcely anything in common with them, nor do I want to be a character myself. As soon as the cameras drop however, its almost like they never played the part. 20 minutes after this picture was taken we all, plus friends, had a campfire late into the night. So, I am with my family and I love them I'm just here to say you'll never see that from me on TV again. (This picture is from a few months ago)
Of particular interest are Jacob's apparent responses on ask.fm, where he reportedly posted hundreds of responses to fans' questions and indicated that he doesn't agree with his family's conservative views on religion and homosexuality. In the past couple of years, however, no further responses have been forthcoming from the account.
But more recently, Jacob's social media presence has become increasingly focused on his concerns about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's candidacy and the need to support the Black Lives Matter movement. While Audrey Roloff and Molly Roloff have both made headlines in the past week for their anti-gay stance, Jacob's Twitter feed has focused on spreading the word about politics:
I've literally never read a full coherent sentence from the Republican Nominee for President of the United States https://t.co/yIDS9OCzep-- Propaganda (@ffoloR_bocaJ) August 9, 2016
With news that TLC will be renewing Little People Big World for a 12th season, we'll be sure to keep tabs on Jacob's social media contributions and see what else he has to say about the controversy that surrounds his family and their views.Photo credit: LPBW Wikia user Noak496