• Reality show “7 Little Johnstons” began airing in 2015, and has been on for 12 seasons
• Jonah Johnston is the eldest child of the Johnstons, and has grown up in the public eye since the first season of the show
• Jonah has faced bullying and ridicule due to his achondroplasia dwarfism
• Jonah has had a rocky relationship with his girlfriend Ashley, and has recently moved back home
• Combined income from his family’s show and his job as a salesperson has earned Jonah a significant net worth
“7 Little Johnstons”
In 2015, an American cable television channel teased and later premiered a reality television show featuring the world’s largest known family of achondroplasia dwarfs. The show promised to follow the daily life of the unique family as they navigated through their everyday experiences. The show premiered on 6 January 2015, and for eight years since then, we’ve watched Amber and Trent Johnston raise their family of seven on their reality show “7 Little Johnstons” on TLC. Fans are so enthralled with the Johnston family that the show has aired for 12 seasons since 2015, with the 12th season which aired from August to October 2022 attracting over 900,000 viewers in the US. One of the fan favorites in the show is Amber and Trent’s eldest child, Jonah Johnston. In the season finale for season 11, Jonah had his fans scared when he called his parents for help after experimenting with drugs. The episode had fans wondering-What happened to Jonah Johnston on “7 Little Johnstons”?.
Growing Up on Reality TV
Born on 1 December 1999, Jonah was just 15 when his family’s reality show first aired. The then-teenager went from living a relatively anonymous life as a teenage boy to a popular TV personality living his life in front of cameras that broadcast every moment of his life to millions of people across and beyond the US. For someone who was already battling unwanted and unnecessary attention for living with dwarfism and coming from a family of seven with the condition, to having millions of people watching him and his family was a big change for Jonah.
Since the first season of “7 Little Johnstons”, Jonah has grown up in the public eye, with viewers following every step he made and every milestone he achieved. In the first season, viewers were introduced to Jonah and watched him take the significant milestone of trying out for his high school soccer team. Viewers have been privy to every other important milestone that Jonah has mad, including his acceptance into college when he was 18, his first relationship, when he first experimented with drugs and had an adverse effect, and his devastation when he was forced to move back home after living on his own for some time.
Jonah’s celebrity status after growing up as a teenage and adult reality TV star has made him a prime subject of several negative rumors. Most recently, some fans spread a rumor alleging that the reality star has an addiction problem, which influenced his parents’ decision to have him move back home in 2022. Jonah has been the subject of negative rumors about his health, with some people claiming that it’s been deteriorating. Both times, his family, particularly his parents, came out to defend him and put the rumors to rest.
From our Family to Yours, Happy Easter! pic.twitter.com/5SW5R6pbax
— 7 little Johnstons (@team7lj) April 12, 2020
Living with Dwarfism
Jonah and the rest of his family have a condition known as achondroplasia dwarfism – The condition’s symptoms include shortened limbs and large heads and foreheads, but a normal torso. The condition puts Jonah and his entire family at risk of potential complications such as ear infections, excessive weight, and a shortened life span.
Since the population of people living with dwarfism is significantly low, Jonah attracts a lot of attention in public, including facing bullying due to his size. Jonah talked about living with dwarfism in an interview with Barbara Walters, revealing that he’s often frustrated when people stare at him in public, knowing that they would be uncomfortable if they were subjected to similar stares over their appearance. The unwelcome attention Jonah and his family attract is one of the reasons why he joins his parents and siblings in the show, to portray dwarfism positively and help erase some of the negative stereotypes around how the condition and the people living with it are perceived by society.
In some instances, the unwelcome stares Jonah receives from strangers have gone beyond uncomfortable to ridicule and mockery, and all members of his family have been bullied and on the receiving end of slurs due to their size. In one instance, the family had gone to Georgia’s Wild Adventures Theme Park when some kids called them “midgets,” a derogatory word for people with dwarfism. In a second instance, a group of boys made fun of Jonah and his family for being “little people” while the family was in California for a conference. Jonah has dealt with such instances of bullying his whole life, both alone and when with his family.
In 2018, a woman named Kara Smith appeared on the family’s official Instagram account, fueling speculation that Jonah was in a relationship, as Jonah, who was in college at the time, stood alongside Kara. More pictures of Kara and the rest of the family had curious fans asking Jonah to clarify the nature of his alleged relationship with her. The family teased the fans with suggestive hashtags implying that Kara would be the newest addition to the family, such as #shefitsrightin and #showingherthegreatstateofGA. However, Jonah remained mute on the issue and Kara didn’t confirm or deny the rumours either, leaving fans in suspense, and to date it’s still unknown whether Jonah was in a relationship with Kara or not.
Three years later, in 2021, Jonah introduced his girlfriend Ashley to his parents in an episode of their show. Amber and Trent were not very welcoming of her but eventually warmed up to their son’s girlfriend, who had continued to make appearances on the show despite being reserved and preferring to live quietly away from the cameras that follow Jonah and his family.
The relationship has been eventful; first, the couple intended to move in together but Ashley and Trent had reservations that Jonah and Ashley were moving too fast, so Ashley shelved the plans. A year later, Jonah moved out of his family’s house to live with a friend, without informing his girlfriend. Naturally, Jonah’s actions infuriated Ashley, but the couple worked through the problem, as Jonah admitted to not prioritizing Ashley as he should, blaming his struggles with anxiety for his failure to work on their relationship. In the same year, Amber and Trent went through Jonah and Ashley’s text messages – a frustrated Ashley was not okay with their invasion of her privacy.
With the number of problems the couple has faced, fans weren’t shocked when Jonah announced in 2022 that he and Ashley were taking a break from their relationship, however, after having a conversation with Ashley in the last episode of the show’s 12th season, Jonah is hopeful that they will still build a strong and lasting relationship.
Work, Income, and Wealth
“7 Little Johnstons” was Jonah’s first job, or at least source of income, since the Johnston family considers their reality show as a job, of which Jonah has been a part of since 2015, and which requires all members of his family to put filming first and other activities, including hanging out with friends, last. The show has actually helped Jonah cultivate a strong work ethic.
Still, Amber and Trent encourage their children to have other occupations aside from appearing in the show. According to his LinkedIn profile, Jonah has held three other positions – he worked as a representative for the Georgia Forestry Commission for about 15 months from December 2019 to February 2021, when Jonah started a new job as a sales professional for Butler Toyota, working with his father at the car dealership. He held the position for a year until January 2022. He started his current job as a sales representative for Riverside Ford Lincoln, Inc in September 2022. His combined income from his family’s show and his job as a salesperson has earned Jonah a significant net worth, estimated to be between $1.5 million as of early 2023.
Let Riverside help you find your perfect car. This Area-51 Bronco is headed to Music City- Nashville, TNThank you Parker for your business! #trentjohnston_sellsautos #stockbridgefriends
Independent Living and Moving Back Home
In an episode on the 10th season of “7 Little Johnsons”, Jonah’s parents gave him an ultimatum to move out of his family’s house in three months, to encourage the then 21-year-old to be independent and learn how to manage his finances. Three months later, the family helped Jonah move after his house was approved – Jonah lived with a friend for a while before making a call that had his parents worried, and left the show’s fans in suspense.
At the end of the 11th episode of “7 Little Johnstons”, Jonah made an incoherent call to his father, in which he was slurring his words and seemed disoriented, as he seemed not to know his exact location. A frantic Johnston family worked with their phone services provider and 911 to determine his location and get him to safety. The disturbing call had fans worried that Jonah had turned to drug use to cope with anxiety, particularly after leaving the family house to live on his own. His parents clarified that while Jonah had taken Delta 8, a synthetic strain of marijuana, he didn’t have a drug problem. Rather, he had bought Delta 8 at a gas station purely for experimentation, however, they were so worried that they had their son move back home where they could keep a closer eye on him.
Jonah referred to the incident as traumatic, and acknowledged that he needed his family’s support. Following the incident, Jonah has had incredible support from his fans. Some of them support his move to live with his parents as he recovers, however, a second group of fans believes that Amber and Trent are overprotective, and should become less intrusive.
The past two years have been difficult for Jonah; from his rocky and now undefined relationship with Ashley to leaving his parents’ house, battling anxiety, a disastrous experience with drug use, and sacrificing his independence to go back home. With all these problems, Jonah isn’t excited about the future. While he acknowledges that he’s fortunate and grateful to have his parents concerned about him, and promising to keep him accountable, he’s not eager about moving back home. He’s struggling with work, and fans are expressing concerns that his behavior is odd, and something is affecting him. He’s also struggling with anxiety and his parents will start setting up appointments for him to see a therapist to help him get his life in order. Fans hope that Jonah will get the help he needs to deal with his anxiety, pick better friends who will not influence him to try substances that could harm him, and convince his parents that he can manage without their supervision, so that he can move out and reclaim his independence.
Fans are looking forward to learning more about Jonah’s life. They join Jonah and the rest of his family as they wait for the network to announce the fate of “7 Little Johnstons”. However, Jonah’s father, Trent, has hinted that the show could be renewed for at least two more seasons, announcing that he;s cleaning his yard and getting ready to film season 14 of the show. Fans are considering the post as confirmation that the show will be renewed for Seasons 13 and 14. For now, loyal fans of the show wait for an official announcement from TLC to know whether Jonah will grace their screens, and let them know the state of his relationship with Ashley, the progress of his sessions with his therapist, and how he feels after his move back home.