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VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Jordy McKen
These YouTubers faced serious public backlash and/or legal consequences. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for infamous controversies about family-themed YouTube channels that shocked everyone. Our countdown of family YouTuber scandals includes Ryan's World, Spiritual Tasha Mama, Fantastic Adventures, and more!

#10: Ryan's World

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Ryan’s World, formerly known as Ryan’s Toy Review, is one of the biggest channels on the platform. The youngster who plays and chats about toys, games, and adventure parks captured the attention of children everywhere. But in 2019, news about his mother, Loan Guan, was disclosed. In 2002, she was an 18-year-old student attending University of Houston and was caught trying to shoplift clothes from a JC Penny store. Guan received a $150 fine, 40 hours of community service, and six months of probation. Shortly after, however, she was arrested for breaking the terms of her probation and was sentenced to 60 days in prison. Guan was released after 30 days.

#9: Jordan Cheyenne

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There have been plenty of accusations of YouTubers faking emotional segments for views. But few have been so exposed as Jordan Cheyenne was in 2021 when she uploaded the since-deleted video titled “We are heartbroken.” In it, Cheyenne and her son Christian film from their car, discussing the disease their dog was diagnosed with. In an accidentally left-in part, Cheyenne can be seen coaching her son, telling him how to cry, where to rest his head, and what expressions to use. She even gets him to pose for the thumbnail. It’s pretty spectacular, and we mean that in the most disgusted way possible. As backlash grew, Cheyenne apologized publicly, which was also criticized for being insincere. She then scrubbed her channel and social media profiles before going on hiatus.

#8: Myka Stauffer

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In 2017, after a year of searching for a special needs child to help, Myka Stauffer and her husband James, the two of who vlogged under the name The Stauffer Life, finally found a preschool-aged child to adopt into their family. Beyond asking for donations to help raise him, it all seemed to be going well. But by 2020, things changed drastically. After months of speculation, Stauffer posted a video that they had rehomed their adopted child. The couple said that the stress of caring for a severely special needs child was the leading factor for their decision. Of course, there was a massive amount of backlash from the public. So much so that Stauffer deleted her channels and has been inactive on social media since.

#7: Spiritual Tasha Mama

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Going by Spiritual Tasha Mama and now Spiritual Natasha on YouTube, Tasha Maile is a controversial figure on the platform. On one hand, she has helped promote nursing children and the vegan lifestyle. But on the other, Maile has been heavily criticized for a certain story. In 2017, she spoke about the time she and her husband were intimate while she was in the act of breastfeeding her son. She later clarified that the child was sleeping at the time, but it still seems like an icky situation that made many uncomfortable. The public has also pointed out other videos that have been interpreted as inappropriate between Maile and her children.

#6: Sam & Nia

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Pregnancy announcement videos are often endearing. Other times, not so much. One released by the channel “Sam and Nia,” Christian family vloggers, was more of the latter. In 2015, they filmed a video involving Sam sneakily dipping a pregnancy test into Nia’s unflushed toilet water, then surprising her with the positive result. Regardless of whether it was staged, this sparked a debate about privacy in relationships and women’s autonomy. Not long after, it was discovered that Sam had at one point had a profile on the infamous affair dating website Ashley Madison. The duo released an apology video where Sam mentioned that Nia and God forgave him, which only drew further criticism. After a brief hiatus, the family returned to the platform.

#5: The LaBrant Fam

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As one of the most popular family-themed channels, you'd expect The LaBrant Fam to be squeaky clean of scandal. But nope. Firstly, in 2018, as the wildfires swept over California, the family put out a video that they were ordered to leave their home. However, neighbors of the LaBrants claim their area was never given the evacuation order. Secondly, in 2021, the channel released a video that implied their child had cancer when it was a health scare. Thirdly, in 2022, they put out a documentary on abortion, taking a pro-life stance but calling it “pro-love” instead. In it, they shockingly compare the numbers of lives lost to the Holocaust to those from abortions, implying that the latter is worse than the former. Understandably, people were livid.

#4: Toy Freaks

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With family channels, there’s always a conversation about parents potentially exploiting their children for views. With Toy Freaks, it’s no misunderstanding, as it was clear this was the case. Gregory Chism encouraged his daughters to act like babies and do humiliating things on camera. It was pretty uncomfortable. But the final straw came when he filmed multiple videos of himself walking into the bathroom as they bathed and throwing an animal at them in what he claimed was a “joke.” One clip featured a frog that terrified the girls. Experts stated that these antics could have a lasting and damaging effect on their mental health. With the litany of incidents, the Toy Freaks channel was terminated in 2017.

#3: Fantastic Adventures

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Created by Machelle Hobson, the Fantastic Adventures channel showcased Hobson’s biological and adopted children and their antics. But in 2019, horrible things came to light. Hobson’s adult daughter called authorities and, when they arrived, the cops found the children in a tragic state, clearly malnourished. Allegations soon surfaced that Hobson and her two adult sons had physically abused the children if they refused to appear in a video or didn’t perform the way Hobson wanted. While Hobson was indicted on 30 counts and pleaded not guilty, she passed away before the trial, and the charges were dismissed as a result. In 2023, however, the Hackney brothers were charged with multiple counts of misconduct.

#2: FamilyOFive

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Originally known as DaddyOFive before creating the other channel FamilyOFive, Michael and Heather Martin were known for their daily vlogs and joke videos. But as their popularity increased, so did the videos’ content. So-called pranks seemed to involve the physical and mental abuse of their children. As the scandal grew, two of the kids were taken from the household and into the care of their biological mom. In 2017, facing charges of child neglect, the Martins handed in an Alford plea, which allowed them to acknowledge the evidence but maintain innocence. As such, they received five years of probation. While their channels were terminated by YouTube, Michael would return in a new channel called The Martin Family, which is supposedly run by their kids.

#1: 8 Passengers

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After starting her channel 8 Passengers in 2015 about family life with her husband Kevin and their six children, there were several concerns with Ruby Franke when it came to allusions to her extreme disciplining methods. In 2023, no one was ready for how far she went. One of her children managed to escape the house and get help, which led to the police arresting Franke, Kevin, and their business partner, ConneXions's Jodi Hildebrandt. Most of their children had signs of abuse and were taken into care after getting treatment. Franke and Hildebrandt were charged with six felony child abuse charges and held without bail. Unsurprisingly, 8 Passengers was banned from YouTube, and Franke’s other social media profiles were deleted. On a lighter note, let us know which YouTube family channel you think is wholesome and unproblematic.

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