Cole and Savannah LaBrant, whose family vlog channel counts roughly 9 million subscribers, are addressing the litany of hate they say that they have received after posting a prank video on April Fools’ Day — that many interpreted as unnecessarily cruel and even psychologically damaging — in which they told six-year-old daughter Everleigh that they had to get rid of Carl, the family dog.

While mom Savannah says that 90% of their viewers “have had our backs” through the ensuing backlash after the story made national headlines, and know that the couple’s intentions are pure, the other 10% of onlookers has been overwhelming them with death threats, calls for them to be jailed, and suggestions that their kids (they also have a newborn baby named Posie) be taken away by Child Protective Services.

Cole says that the April Fools’ video — which is still live on their channel, though the couple is conflicted over whether to keep it up — was actually intended as a prank on viewers, which Everleigh overhead while they were concocting it, and suddenly started to cry. “And this is where I think that we were in the wrong,” Cole says. “We just kinda rolled with it…And that’s where we will apologize, and we have apologized to Everleigh.” He adds that five minutes later, however, she snapped right out of it and was absolutely fine.

Savannah adds that even though they felt iffy about uploaiding the clip, they shared it because “we film our whole lives. That’s what we signed up for.” She adds that all parents make mistakes, and resents the judgement being passed on her family by other parents and even fellow Christians. Even though things got blown wildly out of proportion, Savannah says, “We think we’re awesome parents.”

The LaBrants also addressed accusations that they had turned off comments on the April Fools’ video, noting that comments on their channel have been disabled altogether due to a separate controversy on YouTube involving pedophiles exchanging predatory comments on ostensibly innocent videos of young children. Cole also cautions that Everleigh is learning to read, and warns commenters against making statements on other social platforms that could hurt her feelings. “And that’s where she might need counseling and this stuff,” he says, “not from us pranking her.”

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