Is he fighting with his mom?
TLC’s latest big, unconventional family has been taking TV by storm. Welcome to Plathville features the Plaths, a Georgia family with 9 kids who live on a 55-acre farm where they can be on their own “slice of heaven.”
They limit their contact with technology and they focus on things like music and farm work as they raise the children.
Parents Kim and Barry brag that they isolate their kids from influences they don’t think fit with their conservative Christian ideology. They homeschool their kids, just like other TLC family, the Duggars.
The family proudly tells audiences that television and the internet are strictly limited in their home. They don’t let their kids have sugar, saying their brood didn’t even know what soda tastes like.
But it’s impossible for even the most religious people to prevent their kids from growing up and going their own way — and that’s exactly what’s happening with eldest Plath son, Ethan. (Not to mention their oldest daughter, Hosanna.)
Twenty-one-year-old Ethan got married a year ago to Olivia. While she’s also a Christian, she’s far less conservative than Ethan’s parents and that has caused friction within the family. Ethan is caught in the middle of his family and his wife.
Who is Ethan Plath? Read all the details about the oldest Plath son.
1. He’s the oldest of the Plath kids.
If you go to the Plath family’s website, you find a bright description of Ethan, likely written by mother Kim. “Ethan is 20 years old, and is getting married this October!!” she writes. “He plays piano and accordion, and likes to sing Johnny Cash Gospel. We love his sense of humor and he’s a classic car collector, too!”
The description, of course, is a bit out of date. Olivia and Ethan’s wedding was in 2018, and he’s 21 now and living away from the farm — albiet down the street — with Olivia.
Ethan has long been a member of the Plath family band. Like all the Plath kids, he was given music lessons as a small child. Kim says they all started out playing classical music and performing locally. She credits Ethan with finding Southern Gospel style music, which appealed to them. The family’s toured and recorded music for many years.
2. He collects and refurbishes classic cars.
Ethan likes buying and restoring old cars. His Instagram page is full of photos of cars he owns. He actually sold a car in order to pay for an engagement ring for Oliva.
In her saved stories on Instagram, she shared how she very sweetly tracked the car down and bought it back for him as a gift.
3. Ethan is rumored to be distant from his mother.
There has been a lot of chatter about Kim and how she runs her family. Audiences find her cold and controlling, and Ethan has confessed he isn’t close to her at all. Olivia shared with Katie Joy on her YouTube channel, Without A Crystal Ball, that Kim tries very hard to control everyone in the family, but she’s a bit hypocritical in her own actions. For example, the kids have never been allowed to watch TV or movies, but Kim has no problem watching videos on her phone.
Ethan confirmed to Katie Joy that his mom is cold to him, saying he hasn’t had a hug from her since he was 12 years old. He even said that his mom is “selfish, stubborn and doesn’t look out for anyone but herself.”
4. He met Olivia as a teenager.
Ethan and Olivia met when they were each about 16 years old. Her family is also Christian and they met through Christian activities, but her upbringing is much less restrictive and conservatice than Ethan’s. She even has her own business working as photographer and she travels extensively to photograph weddings. (In fact, in one episode, she took Ethan’s sister Moriah to assist her in a wedding photography assignment.)
Moreover, she says on her Instagram page that she is more than willing to photograph non-Christian weddings. “This is just a friendly PSA that although I’m white as heck and identify as a Christian, that doesn’t stop me from shooting weddings from other cultures, beliefs, races, and religions!” she says in one post.
Olivia’s more open-minded attitude also affects how Ethan lives his life. In one memorable clip, he takes his very first sip of Coca-Cola with Olivia and in previews of an upcoming episode, he even drinks a beer. While the two of them are strong believers in their religion, they aren’t willing to take it to the extremes that Kim and Barry set up for their own family.
5. Ethan’s caught between his wife and his mother.
One of the main points of focus for the show is the conflict between Olivia and the Plath parents. The younger kids really like Olivia and she’s willing to treat them to the kinds of adventures she has lived in her life. But Kim and Barry don’t approve of her influence over the other Plath children and have pushed back at her, even saying she has “character issues” and that they don’t trust her around their children — they even told the couple that they don’t want them to be around the younger kids without Kim and Barry around.
Ethan’s taking Olivia’s side on the matter, however, and standing by her. After a tense conversation between the couple and Ethan’s parents, Ethan told Olivia he didn’t like the way his dad talked to her.
6. Will Ethan walk away from his family?
In a recent episode, Ethan and Olivia talk about moving if things get too bad between them and his parents. However, Olivia understands how much Ethan values his family, and they instead sat down to talk to Kim and Barry and work out a plan to get along better.
Ultimately, Ethan and Olivia look pretty solid as a couple and it’s clear Ethan won’t abandon his marriage in favor of his parents. But the season isn’t over yet so we don’t know if he will end up moving away from his famiy just for the sake of his marriage.
Rebekah Kuschmider writes about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side.