Child Education Viral Star ‘Ms. Rachel’ Sparks Conservative Backlash With Pride Video - Word&Way

Child Education Viral Star ‘Ms. Rachel’ Sparks Conservative Backlash With Pride Video

(RNS) — Rachel Accurso, a preschool teacher who rose to popularity for her online child educational videos, has become a target of conservative backlash. A 25-second video Accurso posted on TikTok on the first day of Pride Month has sparked online debate over her content and her interpretation of Christian Scripture.

Recent social media posts by Rachel Accurso, who goes by “Ms. Rachel,” including a Pride Month post, left, and her response to negative reactions, right. (Video screen grabs)

In the original clip, Accurso — known as “Ms. Rachel” to her online audience — energetically announced, “Happy pride to all of our wonderful families and friends! This month and every month, I celebrate you.

“I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you’re exactly who you are,” she added.

The social media creator’s videos, “Songs for Littles,” have gained massive popularity in the past year among parents. Boasting 10 million YouTube subscribers, her children’s content covers a wide range of topics, from discussing emotions to teaching nursery rhymes to helping children learn to talk.

Daily Wire host Matt Walsh’s post on X drew attention to Accurso’s video. He encouraged conservative parents to take their business elsewhere. “This is a message to conservative parents. She doesn’t want your business. You should respond accordingly.” In a Daily Wire segment, Walsh went on to accuse Accurso of “explicitly pushing LGBT indoctrination on her audience.”

Comments to his post were divided between criticism and support for Accurso.

Many echoed Walsh’s calls to boycott Accurso’s content. “I’ve been letting my grandson watch her Youtube content, which seemed harmless. Until now. Banned,” wrote former U.S. Senate Secretary Kelly D. Johnston. Another X user replied: “I’m all for boycotting any and all businesses that have the intention to indoctrinate children! Put them all out of business!”

Others rose to Accurso’s defense, with one fan commenting, “This two mom family loves you back! Thank you for loving on our family and our kiddo from afar!” Some expressed confusion over the outrage directed at the video: “ … I think this is probably the best message one could have while supporting the pride stuff. I would prefer this over almost everything else. Why are people mad about it exactly?”

In May, Accurso received similar fallout after launching a Save the Children fundraiser to channel aid to children in conflict zones in the Gaza Strip, Sudan, Ukraine and Congo. In a follow-up video, she emotionally rejected accusations that she only cared for Palestinian children: “I love my neighbor. I love every child.”

Similarly, Accurso responded to the intense reactions over the Pride video. Emphasizing the importance of her faith, she cited Matthew 22: “A religious teacher asked Jesus, ‘What’s the most important commandment?’ Jesus says, ‘To love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.’” She continued, “It doesn’t say ‘Love every neighbor except.’”

Her interpretation of Scripture prompted a second wave of backlash. Allie Beth Stuckey, a conservative commentator, called Accurso a “genuine person,” but argued that she was wrong in a video that has garnered more than 133,000 views on X. “God, who is love, also defines the truth. And that God tells us that the truth is that we are created male and female. … The only definition of holy sexuality and holy marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Accurso, however, seemed to anticipate the backlash in her original video. “To those who are going to comment (that) they can’t watch this show anymore because of this support, no worries and much love your way,” she assured. Ending the video, she added, “God bless. I’m not chasing fame or views, I’m standing strong in love.”