Ethan and Grayson Dolan, 19-year-old twins who have built up millions of followers on YouTube since they burst onto the Vine scene in 2013, have had to tell their fans not to go to their father’s funeral after trolls started a campaign urging people to attend.
We want this ceremony to be an opportunity for the people who had a close connection with my Dad to say goodbye and pay their respects. We appreciate all of our fans so so much. Please respect My father Sean, Ethan, my family, and me send your love through social media only!
— Grayson Dolan (@GraysonDolan) January 22, 2019
If you are a fan of Grayson and I we love you and appreciate you so much. The best way you could support us during this tough time is to NOT show up at our father’s wake or funeral. thank you guys and please please please respect my wish.
— Ethan Dolan (@EthanDolan) January 22, 2019
The Dolan twins announced the passing of their father Sean, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, on Sunday. Both Ethan and Grayson said in tweets that they would be taking some time off from social media to be with family.
Life feels like a nightmare. Taking some time off to be with our family. I love you so much Dad. I’ll see you guys soon
— Ethan Dolan (@EthanDolan) January 19, 2019
I can’t believe that today actually real. It doesn’t make sense. Ethan and I are going to be taking some time off and spending it with our family. I love you guys so much thank you so much for everything. I’ll be back soon♥️
— Grayson Dolan (@GraysonDolan) January 19, 2019
A few days later, posts on Instagram and Twitter began to surface about the whereabouts and timing of the funeral.
wtf is wrong with people. absolutely disgusting. pic.twitter.com/n1yDjqBIj1
— DANIEL (@BIEBSMARA) January 20, 2019
A now-deleted Instagram account uploaded two notes on Sunday, saying the obituary for Sean would soon be uploaded “as soon as the funeral home posts it”. By Wednesday, the hashtags #SeanDolanFuneral and #SeanDolanMeetupParty had taken off and other Twitter accounts had emerged promising to tweet out the location of the funeral.
Many of the Dolan twins’ fans on YouTube were quick to criticise anyone talking about attending the funeral.
The fact that @EthanDolan and @GraysonDolan had to address this has my heart shattered. This isn't what they should be thinking about. Their focus should be on their family, not people overstepping boundaries. Respect them, their family, and most importantly Sean.
— •Samantha 💜💜 (@DaringlyDolans) January 22, 2019
And some have gone so far as post public service announcements about why fans shouldn’t attend.
Dear Dolan twins fandom
If you are unaware of this or you need a recent dose of reality,PLEASE DO NOT and I repeat PLEASE DO NOT go to Sean Dolan’s funeral (if you are not invited) to make yourself look good. It is not like a party that they are attending (1/5)
— brigid sarcona (@BrigidSarcona) January 20, 2019
Over the last few days, trolls have begun latching onto both hashtag campaigns, promising things like Taco Bell, merchandise, and free car rides to the funeral.