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Viral child star Ms Rachel takes a break from social media for her mental health


TikTok creator and teacher Rachel Griffin Accurso, known online as Ms. Rachel, said she is temporarily stepping away from social media for her mental health.

Accurso has become a viral sensation among young children for her musical and educational content, which she posts on YouTube, where she has over 3 million subscribers, and TikTok, where she has over 2.5 million followers. Accurso, who is a preschool teacher, started the YouTube channel in 2019.

She announced the split Monday on TikTok.

“Hurful videos and comments, no matter how much attention they get, will not bring you [what] you want,” she captioned the video. “Only love can do that.”

In recent weeks, Accurso has faced backlash from some parents on TikTok who say his content is “inappropriate” because he features his co-star, Jules, a musician who uses the pronouns them/them.

In a recent TikTok video, mama_burg, a creator and self-proclaimed “traditional mom,” said she “had to stop watching” Accurso content because she “features them/them/their pronouns.” In another video, she said, “The fact that she has Jules on the show is enough for me.”

She called up a video on Jules’ personal TikTok account, where they sang about being brave for an upcoming surgery. The video did not mention their gender identity. In other videos on their account, Jules described the procedure as “major surgery” and “a good thing.”

Other TikTok users expressed their support for Accurso and Jules and defended them against the backlash.

“In fact, some of us ENJOY a friendly face in the parenting space,” one creator wrote in a video caption.

“They’re educating your kids. They’re not indoctrinating them. Stop reaching, and we’re not canceling Ms. Rachel,” another TikTok creator said in a video.

Many also wished Jules a speedy recovery from his surgery, flooding the comments of their latest TikTok posts with messages of support.

“We really hope you come back, people are so cruel, but everyone loves you,” one TikTok user commented. “You have the right to be different. And that’s what makes you YOU.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.