YouTube stars Cole and Sav LaBrant are apologizing for what they say was an April Fools prank gone wrong. In a video, the couple told their 6-year-old daughter they were taking away her puppy, and she broke down in tears.
The couple posted their original prank video Tuesday, in which they told Everleigh LaBrant they could no longer care for their dog, Carl. "Basically, we're giving Carl away to somebody else, because we feel like we can't take good enough care of him at our house," Sav said in the video. "We feel like we're always filming or out-and-about at dance competitions all day or we're busy doing stuff."
The video immediately sparked backlash across the internet. Commenters said they took the prank too far, possibly traumatizing Everleigh. Many questioned their Christian faith.
The family has 8.7 million YouTube subscribers on their main channel — dedicated to vlogs — and 2.2 million subscribers on their second channel — where Everleigh vlogs about toys. Sav has 5 million Instagram followers, Cole 4 million, Everleigh 4.3 million and the couple's 3-month-old daughter, Posie, has 1.1 million. Their puppy, Carl, has over 700,000.
In a follow-up video posted Wednesday, Cole and Sav defend the prank, but say the video was a "mistake." They explain that the purpose of the video was to prank their viewers, but that their daughter overheard. Cole also says the family had been pulling pranks all day, so he wasn't even sure if Everleigh's tears were genuine. He says he started to film her crying because he thought she may have been pranking them back.
"We love our kids so much more than any hater or any of you subscribers ever could," Cole said in response to comments that the couple are bad parents.
Sav admits she regrets uploading the video, and that they're considering removing it. "We want to apologize to the people we did offend, and think we're such bad people for making the video," she said.
At last check Thursday, both the prank and apology videos were still live and both were monetized.