A YouTuber has apologized after footage of her asking her crying 9-year-old son to pose for a video thumbnail went viral.
California-based Jordan Cheyenne has been posting to her YouTube channel, which has more than half a million subscribers, for the past eight years. As well as day-in-the-life vlogs about being a single parent, she also posts lifestyle and fitness videos.
On Wednesday, Cheyenne posted a video explaining that her new puppy had been diagnosed with parvovirus, a condition common in unvaccinated dogs and puppies that can be fatal.
The vlog, which was titled, “We are heartbroken,” has since been removed, but a clip has been widely shared on social media, showing Cheyenne pulling her son Christian toward her and instructing him to “act like you’re crying,” to which he responds, “I am crying.”
Cheyenne gives him a series of instructions “for the video,” telling him to put his hand to his face, look at her, and look at the camera. Throughout the process, her son continues to say, “I’m actually crying.” Before shutting off the camera, she tells her son, “It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s over.”
In a subsequent video, Cheyenne said after the negative response she reuploaded the vlog without the footage of her telling her son to pose, before taking down the video altogether later that day. The clip, which caused widespread backlash, was reuploaded on several social-media platforms, with one getting more than 700,000 views on Twitter.
According to the social-media analytics site Social Blade, her channel lost 1,000 subscribers on Wednesday. The same day, Cheyenne posted a video titled “I am immensely disappointed in myself,” thanking her followers for calling her behavior out and saying her “heart dropped” upon rewatching the footage of her and her son. “It’s so wrong. I should never have done that,” she said.
“Today I want to let you know I’m so disgusted with myself for posing for a thumbnail on such an emotional video,” she continued.
“It made me take a step back and realize I need to just be way more present in the moment and not even be thinking about anything like this when things are happening in my life,” she added later.
Cheyenne also appeared on Thursday’s episode of “The Dad Challenge,” a social-commentary podcast hosted by the YouTuber Joshua Barbour, where she said she would not include her son in any future YouTube videos.
“It is an internal struggle because I do think people like seeing the family,” she said, adding that she would likely continue to feature her son on Instagram, but her posts to YouTube wouldn’t feature him.
“I think that would be best for Christian’s mental health, to be honest, and I do have a lot to offer contentwise without my child. So going forward I can 100% make a commitment to pull Christian off there,” she said.