With Jill and Jessa: Counting On returning to TLC, Duggar cousin Amy King is speaking out about a few things. For one, she's addressing the pervasive rumor that she uses the Duggar name and her social media fame to make money by endorsing products. But that's not all -- she also took a sarcastic blow at the religious beliefs of her devout cousins.
It's not unusual for Duggar social media accounts to make references to various brands and products, and fans (and anti-fans) often speculate about whether the family gets paid, or gets free products, in return for these endorsements.
Chik-fil-A often shows up in Duggar posts.
Recently, Jessa made waves when she posted images that appeared to endorse a certain ice cream shop.
Unfortunately, association with the Duggar name can be a bit hard on companies these days, as evidenced by the many corporations that chose to pull advertising from Duggar-related programming. Unsurprisingly, a number of concerned consumers followed up, and Loblolly Ice Creamery was quick to assure interested parties that they do not sponsor the Duggar family, or have any association with them.
However, unlike most similar Duggar posts, in some of Amy's recent social media endorsements, she isn't leaving followers to guess. The Duggar "rebel cousin" is openly declaring that her posts are sponsored.
In a post about a tooth-whitening product, Cousin Amy says, "Yes this post is sponsored but I actually use it before bed time, try it out!"
However, this week Amy decided to respond to criticism and accusations of using her Duggar cousin status to make money. In an Instagram post, she declared,
"Oh, and another thing since I'm just speaking my mind, I am not riding the coat tails of my family. Their show is simply their show. I haven't appeared on their show in over a year. I want nothing but the best for all of them!"She also again disavowed rumors and speculation that she and her husband have been the source of media leaks about the Duggar family's secrets.
"I want nothing but the best for all of them! I would never make up stories or feed anything distasteful to the media. [Husband Dillon King] wouldn't either."Amy's husband made a similar declaration in November, specifically denying that he and Amy were the source of tales about cousin-in-law Anna Duggar's pregnancy, and more generally assuring followers that he and Amy are not paid for interviews or opinions.
However, it seems that hard feelings about her family still managed to surface. In another post, when teased about getting "that fundie money," Amy quipped back with a sharp sarcastic blow at her cousins' priorities.
"Oh you know staying home & sewing skirts and memorizing the whole Bible in a day is definitely my lifestyle."
It's hardly the first time the Duggar cousin has spoken out about the difference between herself and the larger Duggar family, and she has spoken specifically about her cousin Josh's alleged crimes and indiscretions a number of times -- once calling him "too selfish to even realize" that he was harming others.
She's also recently been a little more open about the rules she faces in visiting with the Duggar girls. In another post, Amy responded to a follower who wondered if the Duggar girls ever come to visit her.
"It's a rule though that if I want to spend quality time with them I have to come see them. They don't want me to influence them."
While Amy was featured as the "rebel cousin" on the Duggar reality show 19 Kids and Counting, including an episode in which she attempted to launch a country music career, seen below, she did not appear in any of the Counting On specials.
Promos for the new season of Counting On appear to focus on the Duggar sisters, and there's no sign Amy will be a part of those, either.
The Duggar family returns to television March 15, and whether or not Cousin Amy's assessment of "sewing skirts and memorizing the Bible" fits, there's no question that the renewal is already fraught with controversy.
[Image via Instagram]