Cole and Savannah Labrant disappointed their mass of social media followers when they played an April Fool’s joke on their daughter that made the little girl cry.
The couple pretended they were giving their family dog away. The family’s YouTube channel The LaBrant Fam has almost 9 million subscribers.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Prank Upset Many Social Media Followers
In a video posted April 1 titled “We Have To Give Our Puppy Away … Saying Goodbye Forever,” the LaBrants told their daughter that they were giving away the family dog, Carl.
“Basically we are giving Carl away to somebody else. We feel like we can’t take good enough care of him at our house,” the mother, Savannah, says to her little girl.
In anticipation the video would offend watchers, Cole says at the end “If this offended any of you guys… she’s okay! She cried for like, two minutes, and she’s the happiest kid ever now. She totally doesn’t care. We prank each other all the time.”
“This incident illuminates a dark side to family vlogging that goes beyond the LaBrant’s cloying attempts to monetize every single thing their young family does, and raises questions of whether stunts like these are ethical or, in some cases, outright illegal,” reports Jezebel.
Whether or not the prank has long term psychological effects seems both up to the magnitude of the prank and the nature and the age of the child, reports Today.
“Parents also shouldn’t let the joke go on too long. Any prank shouldn’t last more than a ‘flash,'” said David Palmiter, a professor at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, speaking to Today.
2. Cole & Savannah Labrant Were Criticized in 2018 for Claiming the California Wildfire Threatened Their Home
In 2018, Cole and Savannah Labrant were criticized for falsely claiming they had to flee their California home because of the wildfires.
Neighbors said no evacuations were ordered.
“I just think it’s really sad they would exploit a situation that’s as serious as a fire that so many people were evacuated just so they could get more likes or more hits on their channel,” one neighbor told Fox11.
“The Holy Fire broke out Aug. 6 near a trailhead in the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County. It burned 22,000 acres in Orange and Riverside counties and was 91 percent contained as of Tuesday, according to the federal government incident reporting site,” reports Mercury News.
Cole Labrant said there was a “huge fire right by their house” before the couple went to pick up Everleigh, when Labrant continued by saying fires were the child’s number one fear.
3. Savannah Loves Fashion
The social media star, fashion blogger, model, photographer, actress, and dancer is 26-years-old. Savannah’s maiden name is Soutas. She has always loved being in front of the camera.
She became pregnant in high school and gave birth to a daughter, Everleigh Rose Smith Soutas. Her daughter’s father is Tom Smith, and she is married to Cole LaBrant. She was homeschooled as part of a Christian family in Orange County, California, and learned to dance as a child.
She sells clothes at her website SavLaBrant, and has an estimated net worth of $2 million. In December 2018, Savannah gave birth to a second daughter by husband Cole LaBrant. Savannah’s older sister Chantelle Paige is a singer-songwriter.
4. Cole is Known for his YouTube Videos
In 2016, he participated in The Amazing Race season 28 with his mother, Sheri.
Cole and wife Savannah are vocal Christians, often sharing their faith on social media.
5. Savannah Created an Instagram Account for her Daughter
Forever and Forava is the Instagram account of Savannah’s daughter Everleigh Rose and her Ava, or “Ever and Ava.” The girls have 1.2 million followers on the social media platform where they promote new and gently used clothing via @TheWildThreads.
The duo also have a YouTube channel. Ava was born in 2012 and has appeared in Vogue Australia and was featured in a campaign for Kardashian Kids. Ava’s mother Michelle Foley runs the girls’ social media channels together with Savannah Labrant.
The practice of monetizing children on social media is facing increased scrutiny. In the 1970s, teacher, reformer, and homeschooling advocate called for the equal rights of children to have a say in what is now known as their social media careers.
The debate over what mass-market cuteness does to kids—both the kids who sell their cuteness directly and those who live with its diffuse effects in our culture—is actually an old one. Social media has accelerated and sharpened the monetization of childhood cuteness, but marketplace cute is something that’s been with us for a century or so. And all along, people have felt a strange sense of unease with kids acting out their childishness for pay. – Rebecca Onion
Sexualized comments are sometimes made on the posts of the children’s images. Cole Labrant tweeted when YouTube disabled comments in February in an effort to crack down on child pornography. Several YouTube channels were incorrectly removed for including the tag “CP” which could stand for child pornography, among other things. Labrant’s channel was not removed, but he was no less frustrated.
The Labrants have written a book, due to release in October 2019. Publisher Thomas Nelson, of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, says of the book Cole and Sav: Our Surprising Love Story:
Popular YouTubers Cole and Savannah LaBrant share their inspiring love story, highlighting the redemptive, surprising nature of God at work in our lives, and how He graciously steps in and turns our messes into something beautiful.