At 24, Jacob Roloff is the youngest adult member of the Roloff Family.
He also seems to be the wisest, more than once expressing informed opinions that seem a little beyond some of his relatives.
The father-to-be recently warned followers against participating in financial schemes that could potentially ruin them.
So … why do Little People, Big World fans think that he was throwing shade at his sister-in-law Audrey?
Jacob took to his Instagram Stories over the weekend.
“Don’t do or promote MLM bulls–t,” he cautioned his followers.
In this context, MLM refers to multilevel marketing schemes, which we will explain.
Jacob did not simply admonish his followers on the subject without reason.
He explained to avoid these schemes “because it rots our societal brain.”
“And,” Jacob added, it “enables a labor relationship and vision that hurts the working class.”
So what is an MLM?
Basically, a company exists and, instead of relying upon normal chains of stores, customers also become sales reps.
The idea is that sales reps get commissions on sales … though they sometimes incur serious financial risk.
MLMs are promoted as get-rich schemes or the key to working from home.
Frequent targets are the disabled and busy single moms who need more money.
Someone who is famous and financially secure has a better chance of making money, while those who are not sometimes end up losing money.
Avon. Mary Kay. Amway. Tupperware.
These are just a few examples of more famous multilevel marketing schemes.
Likened by some to pyramid scams, each sales rep has to sell and recruit more reps in order to be successful.
The companies behind MLMs can rake in billions of dollars every year.
They are also very controversial, especially among people who felt deceived by the financial structure of the business.
If you want to know more about the perils of multilevel marketing, this video from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is a thorough rundown.
A quick disclaimer: without context, some might have thought that Jacob’s post was homophobic. It was not.
While “MLM” is an umbrella term for men-who-love-men incorporating gay, bi, and pan men, that’s not what Jacob means.
We sincerely doubt that he’s homophobic … and if you ask Little People, Big World fans, his sister-in-law Audrey might be.
And it’s at Audrey that many of Jacob’s followers believe that his message was truly aimed.
See, his Instagram Story warning of the hazards of these mulilevel marketing structures is good advice for anyone.
But Audrey happens to be part of one. Oops.
Audrey Roloff uses her Instagram and her platform to promote and sell Young Living products.
The company, which sells essential oils, is considered a multilevel marketing company.
Auj uses her MoreThanOils account to make these sales, and cross-posts to her primary account to extend her reach.
None of this was lost on Little People, Big World fans.
“This seems less like shade and more like a straight read of Audrey,” observed one user of Reddit.
“Shots fired and I’m here for it!” another commenter agreed. “MLMs are predatory.”
“Jacob is truly too good for this family,” another wrote.
A commenter added: “To be a fly on the wall when Audrey sees this one.”
Jacob and Audrey are perceived as not getting along well, clashing due to ideological differences.
Jacob is a very good person, with a wealth of compassion and no fear of speaking up on important issues.
Audrey has referred to her fellow Millennials as a “wicked generation” and strikes many as neither especially good or genuine.
That said, not all fans agree — some are still bitter that Jacob left the show half a decade ago.
So was he really taking a shot at Audrey with that post?
It’s likely that, even though he doesn’t follow Audrey, he is at least aware that she’s trying to push these products onto her followers.
Essential oils are questionable enough even when they’re bought from a store. Essential oils through an MLM company is … quite something.
Jacob likely at least thought of Audrey as he made the post, considering whether he would face blowback for it.
Being a good person, he didn’t let that stop him from warning his followers.
As for whether it was actually aimed at Auj … we have no way of knowing that.