The Florida family who went viral for a TikTok video that showed how to make their toddler son meet the height requirements for certain thrill rides at the Disney theme parks is now apologizing for the “shoe hack.”
The family has also removed all videos referencing the hack, save for a single apology video, where they claim, “With influence comes responsibility.”
It all started when Ty and Haley Kelly posted a video where they glued flip-flop bottoms to their son’s shoes so he’d meet the 38-inch height requirements for some rides.
Although Ty Kelly described the shoe-gluing as the “ultimate theme park hack,” others weren’t impressed by the couple’s ingenuity, feeling, as one YouTuber commenter noted, as if they seemed to care more “about a youtube video than your child’s safety.”
At first, Ty Kelly responded to the criticism by claiming the “hack” was faked in a now-deleted video.
“I would never condone any other parent trying to put their kid on a ride that they aren’t tall enough for,” he said in the clip. “You don’t know what happened. In the video, you didn’t see him actually go on any rides.”
Ty Kelly also claimed his son is actually tall enough for the rides, but didn’t acknowledge that someone viewing the first video without that context might take his advice seriously.
That changed on Friday when the couple posted an apology video. In the apology, they said they now realize that “what started off as us trying to make an entertaining video for our audience that we thought you’d enjoy quickly turned into us realizing that what we put out on our platforms has more consequences than we initially thought.”
Ty Kelly admitted that while his own son was unharmed from the video, he and Haley Kelly now realize their actions could influence another parent to try the potentially dangerous shoe stunt on their own kids.
Haley Kelly said that she hopes their followers give them the chance “to prove that we love our children” and they take their responsibility as “influencers” seriously.
You can see the complete apology below.
Although some commenters did vow to give the couple the benefit of the doubt, others were skeptical.
One YouTuber commenter said, “You aren’t sorry for what you did, you’re sorry you suffered consequences for your horrible choices.”
A person commenting on the couple’s TikTok page pointed out the weird excuses the family has used since the original video.
“You put out a hack that you claimed you used and then claimed that you didn’t do it because you knew how dangerous it was but despite knowing how dangerous it was you claimed you did and claimed you wanted others to try for entertainment,” the person wrote.