Ms. Rachel for Littles and Jules for Littles on TikTok

TikToker Ms. Rachel Experiences Bullying Over Fundraiser for Children in Conflict Zones

At first glance, it is difficult to see what viewers could find wrong about Rachel Griffin Accurso’s Ms. Rachel TikTok and YouTube channels.

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The bubbly social media personality makes videos directed at toddlers and babies, frequently donning an eye-catching ensemble featuring overalls, a pink shirt, and a pink headband. With a broad smile on her face, Ms. Rachel acts out full 40-60 minute videos on YouTube Kids, giving children access to safe children’s content without comments or ads. In some videos, she can be seen singing songs like “Wheels on the Bus” or trying to engage kids with questions about upcoming holidays and events.

In some of Ms. Rachel’s videos, she teams up with singer-songwriter Jules Hoffman, who helps with the musical aspects of her channel. Hoffman is sometimes to referred as Ms. Rachel’s co-star and has mainly appeared in videos on Ms. Rachel’s YouTube channel. Hoffman also has a TikTok account where they show off their musical skills and even some ventriloquism with their songs, many of which feature messages of love and bravery.

However, both Ms. Rachel and Hoffman have opened up on multiple occasions about receiving hatred and bullying online.

@msrachelforlittles

Hurtful videos and comments, no matter how much attention they get, will not bring you want you want. Only love can do that. #mentalhealth #msrachel #tiktokbreak

♬ original sound – Ms Rachel
@julessingsforlittles

I didn’t know how to respond to everything that is going on. I want to address the ? in the room in the best way I know how- by teaching kids about love and acceptance. Kids around us, they are absorbing and ? ing to us for our responses, how we react, how we treat others. They remember what we say and what we believe and it can either bring them closer to us, to share their truest selves with us or push them away. Take care of yourselves and each other. Reach down deep inside you when things get icky, take some deep breaths, sure- be a crabby ? for a bit, remember it’s ok to cry and then respond with ❤️ and kindness. Let’s do this fam ? #itsoktocry #lovewins #lgbtq #love #julestok #julessingsforlittles #blessed #songsforlittles @msrachelforlittles

♬ original sound – Jules!

So, why are two creators who create wholesome content for kindergarteners receiving backlash online?

Ms. Rachel speaks out about bullying following fundraiser

Unfortunately, Ms. Rachel has experienced online bullying more than once. Most recently, she began receiving hate online because of her fundraising efforts. On May 12, she posted a video to Instagram explaining her idea for a fundraising initiative. She revealed she plans on launching Messages of Love to Children for Children. Essentially, the idea involved her making personal videos for children and using the money she makes from them to donate to the Save the Children’s Emergency Fund. The fund seeks to aid and protect children living in conflict zones, including in Gaza, Ukraine, and Sudan.

Hence, her videos would serve two functions: they would be designed to make children smile, and the money they make would go to aiding more children. She made the video to get Cameo’s attention, as she hopes to team up with the platform for her initiative. In her video, she did not express her opinions on any of the conflicts she briefly mentioned, as regardless of the circumstances, her main message was that no child should ever experience the horrors of war.

However, several days later, she posted another video in which she was crying. Ms. Rachel stated through tears, “The bullying is so bad. It’s so bad.” She has since turned the comments off on her initial post, but, according to her, social media users somehow twisted her fundraiser to claim it meant she didn’t care about all children. One can understand how such accusations would impact the influencer, who has devoted her career to children because she cares about them so much. In her caption, she reiterated, “I care deeply for all children. Palestinian children, Israeli children, children in the US – Muslim, Jewish, Christian children – all children, in every country.”

She pointed out she made a fundraiser for “children who are currently starving – who have no food or water – who are being killed.” How does one turn that into her allegedly not caring about children? Despite the bullying, Ms. Rachel carried through with her initiative. She made it onto cameo and quickly raised $50,000. Now, she is working on making all of the personal videos, as she received 500 requests for them.

It seems the anger arose because some felt that she purposefully excluded Israeli children from the fundraiser, even though Israeli children also need aid and protection. However, Save the Children doesn’t currently operate in Israel. Hence, it has dedicated a page on its website to the nation, which includes links that direct one to other fundraisers and humanitarian organizations for the country. Neither Save the Children nor Ms. Rachel are trying to take sides or delve into the politics of the conflicts. Their sole goal is to protect all children around the world, and no one should find offense in that.

Who is Ms. Rachel?

Ms. Rachel is the social media handle used by Rachel Griffin Accurso. If you were wondering why she posts videos directed at babies and toddlers, it’s because it’s kind of her specialty. Ms. Rachel is a real-life preschool teacher in New York City and has a Master’s degree in music education. She is also currently working on a second Master’s degree in early childhood education. However, the real why behind her work is her four-year-old son.

Accurso explained that her son had a speech delay, which inspired her to begin looking for ways to aid him. In the midst of it, she was hit with the idea to create an interactive and engaging show that emphasized encouraging speech in babies and toddlers. This is why her YouTube and TikTok videos are often very slow-paced with lots of enunciation and pronunciation, along with many sing-alongs and questions. The transition from teaching in a live classroom to filming videos in her one-bedroom apartment in New York City wasn’t easy, but she made it work.

There have been conflicting reports about how effective Ms. Rachel’s work actually is. Some parents and speech therapists have praised the videos for being speech-based, educational, and helping to expand vocabulary. However, there are concerns about whether the benefits of watching educational videos outweigh the drawbacks of exposing a child to screen time. There isn’t enough research to determine the answers to these questions yet. With nearly 5 million subscribers across YouTube and TikTok, though, Ms. Rachel must be doing something right.

Unfortunately, the recent “controversy” had nothing to do with the complex issue of young children and the impact of screen time.

Why is Ms. Rachel controversial?

The truth is, Ms. Rachel, isn’t actually “controversial.” She is simply a creator who has fallen victim to intolerance and bigotry. Ms. Rachel began receiving backlash early this year because of her work with Jules. As previously mentioned, Jules is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns … and that is essentially the full extent of the “controversy.” People who identify as “traditional” parents began commenting on Ms. Rachel’s videos and posting on TikTok that they could no longer continue following her because she included Jules in the videos. Many slammed her for introducing “they/them” pronouns to children and stated that Jules’ mere appearance was “enough” for them to turn on Ms. Rachel.

To be clear, parents were upset by Jules merely appearing in Ms. Rachel’s videos. It is not as if Ms. Rachel made her viewers sing and clap along to a pronouns song or posted a video dedicated to teaching babies about gender identity. She merely had Jules join her to sing some educational songs for her viewers. Meanwhile, even if viewers go over to Jules’ personal TikTok, @julessingsforlittles, they aren’t going to find much outright discussion of gender and sexuality. Jules merely displays they/them pronouns on their social media and the Songs for Littles website. That’s it. Additionally, Jules has been using they/them pronouns since 2018, but some conservatives only happened to uncover it recently, hence the sudden onslaught of backlash.

Ms. Rachel and Jules have not directly addressed the backlash. However, Ms. Rachel has since returned from her break and spoke about setting boundaries on social media. She also reiterated that she is here to serve children and their families each day, and wants to “share the love and kindness that we want to see reflected in the world.” Jules has also continued posting on social media and has thanked their followers for their support and acceptance. While a few conservative parents are trying to cancel Ms. Rachel and Jules, a lot more have spoken out in support of them.

@_chaosgarden2

#duet with @julessingsforlittles #itsoktocry if you have followed the ms rachel and jules controversy with me, here is their loving response to the cruelty. Absolute grace and kindness and education #msrachel #jamminwithjules #standwithjules #msrachelsongforlittes #songsforlittles #neurodivergent #nonbinary #lgbt #fyp #xyzbca #foryou #parentsoftiktok #loveisstrongerthanhate #love #momsoftiktok

♬ original sound – Jules!

Fortunately, despite the backlash, many parents are continuing to support Ms. Rachel and Jules—choosing to teach their kids love and acceptance instead of hate.

What are Ms. Rachel’s social media pages?

Here are all of Ms. Rachel’s social media platforms:

(featured image: TikTok)


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Author
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.