A Texas couple is speaking out after their unusual gender reveal was mocked on Twitter.
Bridgette and Jonathan Joseph, who went viral in a TikTok video that was shared widely across the internet last week, gained attention for the unexpected help they received during their big announcement.
Namely, people seemed surprised by the star of their gender reveal — a 4,000-pound hippo named Tank.
The video, filmed at the Capital of Texas Zoo, shows the couple tossing a full watermelon into Tank's mouth. As the animal bites down, blue liquid bursts from his mouth, announcing that the Josephs are expecting a boy.
I did it. I found the worst gender reveal. pic.twitter.com/37b5GkrTbN— Ana Bretón (@missbreton) September 21, 2019
Twitter users quickly jumped in with jokes, while some also added serious criticism of the decision to use a live animal for the announcement.
"When he said 'thank god' I was even more disgusted," one person tweeted. "Throw the whole couple away also is the hippo okay?"
"Did they give that poor hippo chemicals?" another said.
When he said “thank god” I was even more disgusted. Throw the whole couple away also is the hippo okay?— Portia👾🕹 (@GrooovyArts) September 21, 2019
Others took issue with the fact that the Josephs appeared specifically excited to be having a boy.
"The 'thank god' because it’s a boy because apparently having a girl would be HORRIBLE," one person tweeted.
The “thank god” because it’s a boy because apparently having a girl would be HORRIBLE 🙄😡— Kate (@KTenpas) September 21, 2019
But the Josephs were ready to defend those critiques. On Sunday, Bretón tweeted out a message she'd received from the couple, as well as an explanation of her own reaction to the viral video.
"While I’m not a fan of gender reveals, it was not my intention to bring darkness to their special day," Bretón said.
In the message, the Bridgette called the event "one of the happiest days" of her and her husband's lives, clarifying that the blue liquid was actually organic Jell-O that was completely safe for Tank to eat.
"Tank was more than happy to have the treat," Bridgette said. "He walked right to us and opened his mouth."
Hi all! I’ve been in touch with the family in the video. While I’m not a fan of gender reveals, it was not my intention to bring darkness to their special day. Here’s some background written by Bridgette. Donations to the ACTUAL hippo in the vid here: https://t.co/rByV2mbXRK pic.twitter.com/fDWY29niTE— Ana Bretón (@missbreton) September 22, 2019
The Josephs also referenced their reaction to the fact that they were having a boy. According to the message, the couple already has a daughter, and Bridgette had been undergoing fertility treatments with the specific intention of trying for a boy.
"We would have been over the moon just the same to have another girl, but would have had to keep trying for a boy" Bridgette's message read. "Can't wait to meet him."