Teen Mom OG star Catelynn Lowell was called out by fans for an "offensive" Instagram post that, on its face, seemed like a heartfelt message to co-star Gary Shirley. Fans complained about the statement, as it also urged her followers to click on a link in her bio. The post was published after Shirley revealed his mother contracted the coronavirus while working on the front lines of the pandemic.
Lowell has deleted the post, but it was shared by the Instagram page Teen Mom Mama Drama on May 11. The post included an old photo of Shirley with his family, along with the caption "[pray] for Gary's family." Lowell included the hashtags "coronavirus" and "link in bio," which likely meant she was being paid to direct traffic to a site's report on Shirley's situation. Teen Mom Mama Drama followers called Lowell's post "offensive" and in "poor taste."
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"These girls have no shame! Anything for the clicks and cash!" one person wrote. "Clickbait Cate is at it again," another fan chimed in. "Cate is the only one who is AGGRESSIVE about click bait," one fan added. Other fans suggested Lowell needed to share clickbait posts to make money to pay back taxes.
Shirley appears on Teen Mom OG as the father of star Amber Portwood's daughter Leah. On May 9, he told fans his mother, who works at an assisted living facility, was diagnosed with COVID-19 the week before. "We haven't hugged her in about 3 months & we haven't had her over inside our home for about 3 months," Shirley wrote on Instagram. "This has been extremely hard for all of us. Our youngest daughter has an immunodeficiency disorder where she gets sick so easily so we have stayed home and took this quarantine very seriously."
A few days later, Shirley said his family was struck another blow as his stepfather Jody also contracted the disease after he was rushed to the hospital. "He is receiving plasma, a new clinical trial drug and on a breathing machine in hopes to fight this virus. As you can imagine this is very difficult on my family," Shirley wrote on Instagram. At the end of his message, Shirley wrote that his mother is doing better and "getting stronger every day."
This week, Lowell showed support for another co-star, Mackenzie McKee. Josh McKee and McKee's relationship is in flux, as McKee revealed she walked away after accusing him of having an affair. Lowell spoke out to E! News on the difficult situation, offering to speak with her if she ever needs anyone to talk to. "It's really hard, what's she's going through," Lowell said. "I cannot even imagine."