The outpouring support for a Tennessee boy who went viral tearfully talking about bullies is starting to taper off as questions are raised about his mother’s financial motives and racist posts.
Kimberly Jones’ heartbreaking footage of her son, Keaton, describing being called “ugly” at his Knoxville-area school quickly garnered attention over the weekend from millions moved by his troubles. Scores of celebrities came to his defense, with some even inviting him to movie premieres, and a GoFundMe campaign was launched that raised more than $58,000.
But the video, which was viewed more than 22 million times, began to receive backlash after the boy’s mom allegedly started a separate GoFundMe that slammed the initial fundraiser, according to BuzzFeed.
“I must repeat, this is my only ‘GoFundMe’ account! Some dude started a GoFundMe without my permission and raising money off my son without reaching out to me. I don’t approve of that GoFundMe account. This is my only one,” Jones wrote on her alleged Instagram account, which has since been deleted.
In addition to including the GoFundMe page, the account shared information about how to donate on PayPal.
Some, however, questioned the mother’s reasoning for creating a GoFundMe account.
“I am against bullying and I hate what has happened to your son… but why do you have a GoFundMe account… why are you asking for money,” one user commented, according to BuzzFeed.
“There is other ways we can tackle bullying without money involved.”
Both GoFundMe pages were no longer active Monday night. The page purportedly started by Jones was removed and the other fundraiser’s creator, Joseph Lam, froze the campaign while the company attempted to reach the mom, TMZ reported.
Controversy for the family didn’t end there though. Critics doubled down Monday, questioning Jones’ ethics when racist photos and messages allegedly from her Facebook page started making rounds on social media.
The posts reportedly showed Jones holding a Confederate flag and criticizing those speaking out about racism.
“If you aren’t bleeding, no bones are sticking out & you can breathe, STOP crying!” she allegedly wrote.
Jones has since made her Facebook page private.
The video of Keaton that became a rallying call to end bullying was also removed from the page.