Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland was highly criticized on social media after asking for support—both emotional and financial—after her 14-year-old cousin’s unexpected death in a car accident involving a drunk driver.
Yesterday my 14 year old cousin was killed by a drunk driver named Jeffrey Eggerling. My Uncle is in the hospital awaiting more surgeries. PLEASE keep your prayers with my family during this horrific time. And please DONATE https://t.co/mwlaIvUYrs
— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) December 2, 2018
The page she shared, set up by her cousin Trevor’s mother and sisters, was looking to raise $15,000 for the cost of the funeral.
Given Hyland’s celebrity status, it was confusing to Twitter that she wasn’t just footing the bill herself.
A horrible tragedy!!! It feels weird that you are asking people to donate though. People are donating $10, $20, $100 which is a lot for people. I hope you are financially helping them too bc it would seem you have more resources than those donating. Prayers for your family.
— Kerry Sullivan (@ksullivan1111) December 3, 2018
I’m sad for them but can’t u pay for the funeral ? 15,000. To u is like nothing.
— Profran (@ProfranRoach) December 2, 2018
Where was Sarah’s donation to this I looked I didn’t see even a ten spot she is fleecing us we all have family who die but My family bands together and things get handled we would never take advantage of other Americans when we have the money to help ourselves shameful
— Donna V. (@Tweet_Hearted) December 3, 2018
I’m so sorry for your loss. But, explain why your asking others to donate?
— Denise kelly (@Denisek6437) December 2, 2018
The drunk driver should pay for the funeral
— Ashley Duty (@AshleyOvery) December 3, 2018
Just 9 million bucks
— Donna V. (@Tweet_Hearted) December 3, 2018
Net worth if 10 million maybe you could cover the costs?
— Elizabeth (@bigdo513) December 5, 2018
The gofundme amount that you could afford went over the amount you asked for. You should pay it forward.
— highkey 💜🐱☕🌻 (@kekekinz) December 5, 2018
Leave it to the internet to make someone quit social media over the death of a loved one.
Hyland made a last ditch effort to get through:
I’d like to ask those who have negative thoughts or opinions about the tragedy that happened to my family, to keep them to themselves. You don’t know all the details. And how dare you attack when a beautiful life has been lost.
— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) December 3, 2018
But was met with even more nastiness.
No honey. There’s an excellent chance you can pay for the whole funeral and medical expenses on your own with no outside help. You really don’t get why you are being criticized for setting up a gofundme for your family member when you are a rich celebrity? #delusions
— Katrina (@ksimm81) December 4, 2018
We know enough detail because you announced to the world that your cousin died. By setting up a 'GoFundMe' page you also announced to the world that your cousins are too poor to afford a funeral and that you are too stingy and mean to part with your millions to help them out.
— Kent Dorfman (@kent_dorfman) December 4, 2018
It is strange of you to promote a crowdfunding page when you only donated $1000 yourself (whilst being worth 9 million). Most of the people donating are working 9-5s, and it's weird that you're asking for money from them. If you want to keep it private, don't tweet about it.
— Luna Bea (@onemilliondogs) December 3, 2018
And that was the final straw.
You guys finally did it. Your horrible negative ignorant words have broken me. Happy? Staying offline for a while. I have a special announcement and video releasing on Wednesday I believe. So. There’s that. ✌🏼
— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) December 4, 2018
The internet stops for nobody, though, and the negativity persisted.
You only have yourself to blame for this backlash, unless there's some massive detail we're all missing. Asking complete strangers to contribute to the funeral expenses of your own family member which you could easily pay for yourself is low-class and unconscionable.
— Brie Clarke (@brie_clarke) December 4, 2018
Don’t cry to social media.
You make $100,000 plus an episode (and negotiated that amount apart from the rest of your cast mates who banded together).
You donated less than 1% of one episodes salary, for a family member‘s funeral, and we are the bad guys for pointing that out?
— Jonathan Wilson (@wonder_wil_) December 5, 2018
It’s horrible to think that in the time of tragedy, the hateful will go out of their way to bring you even down even further.
In good news, the fundraiser has raised $37,063 so far.
Please keep in mind that there are many of us who absolutely adore you
— Livvy (@heyitslivvyhere) December 4, 2018
Mean people are loud and the minority. I’m sorry. You’re part of the majority. We have love and support for you.
— KristaPedia Brittanica (@CoolKrista) December 4, 2018
i'm so sorry this has happened to you and i hope you're surrounded by people who love you. please know that your fans love you so much 💖
— 𝙙𝙚𝙢 (@parabatrishum) December 4, 2018
I love you Sarah! You're funny, super talented and a warrior! Haters gonna hate cause they're miserable!! Stay strong ❤
— La belle sauvage (@Maimouna_Spero) December 4, 2018
The GoFundMe page recounts Trevor as a “funny, smart, innovative, athletic, goofy kid” and hopes to assist the family with “focusing on healing emotionally,” instead of worrying about bills. In such a sad situation, we have to hope that the helpers outweigh the haters.