Listen, it’s already hard to discern what is real and what is BS, especially when it comes to celebrity gossip. The internet is peppered with headlines about whirlwind relationships between unlikely pairs, super messy breakups, and surprise babies—and that’s not even taking into account the rest of the news cycle.
That’s why, if you forgot that yesterday was April 1, it might not have been that shocking to see this Instagram post from Justin Bieber:
Like, sure, why not? Even though he and Hailey are young, they’re still grown adults. So it’s their prerogative to have children when they want to, and stranger things have happened (see above). Of course, we did quickly remember that it was April Fools’ day, but as we were wondering whether we should believe our eyes, Biebs double-downed with another image.
Of course, by late afternoon EST, he admitted it was all an April Fools’ joke with a poorly Photoshopped sonogram feating a puppy instead of a fetus. (Truly, it was a roller coaster ride.)
Cue the world’s biggest eye roll. But, aside from our annoyance with April Fools’ jokes in general and Justin Bieber in particular, there’s a bigger problem with this “prank.” If you are struggling with fertility, like one in six Canadians are, or if you’ve had a miscarriage, which is the awful outcome in 15 to 25 percent of pregnancies, you likely didn’t find it very funny. In short: it’s pretty insensitive to kid around about, well, having kids, when so many people are legit hurting because they can’t. Also, it’s not actually entertaining, so no one loses if you just… don’t.
Seeing the lengths @justinbieber and Hailey have gone to for this April Fools is an absolute disgrace. Pregnancy and fertility are no joke. I hope they decide to take this down. #AprilFools #JustinBieber pic.twitter.com/CMa9xSbacL
— The Empowered Woman Project (@TheEmpWomanProj) April 1, 2019
Justin Bieber faked a pregnancy announcement… Why?! That is so inconsiderate. People struggle with loss and infertility every single day. Pregnancy announcements are not a joke. Give your damn head a shake… 🤦🏼♀️
— megann allenn ; 🍷 (@xmeganallenx) April 1, 2019
@justinbieber I hope that “pregnancy “ announcement was real. Pregnancy pranks are not cool. There are people who can’t have babies or have lost. 💔🙅🏼♀️
— 🌿 Danika (@dani__vonne) April 1, 2019
If common sense wasn’t enough to lead Bieber away from this tactless prank, he could have learned from other celebs who have made the same mistake. Brandi Glanville did it too, just hours before Bieber, and Bachelor alums Arie Luyendyk Jr. and then-fiancée Lauren Burnham pulled the same crappy thing last year. All of them were promptly called out, as Bieber was.
But did any of those celebs actually get why this type of joke is such a problem? Bieber, who responded to his critics this afternoon, certainly didn’t seem to.
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There’s always gonna be people offended, there’s also people who don’t take jokes very well, I am a prankster and it was APRIL FOOLS. I didn’t at all mean to be insensitive to people who can’t have children. A lot of people I know, their first go to prank on April fools is telling their parents they are pregnant to get a big reaction. But I will apologize anyway and take responsibility and say sorry to people who were offended. I truly don’t want anyone to be hurt by a prank.. it’s like when I shoved cake in my little sisters face for her birthday expecting her to laugh but she cried. You sometimes just don’t know what will hurt someone’s feelings not to compare pregnancy with cake in the face but it’s just to paint the picture of not knowing what will offend. Some might have laughed but some were offended .. I think With pranks u sometimes have to roll that dice. #prankster #dennisthemenace #sorry #truly
Those are some *classic* run-on sentences—but not a lot of sense, or compassion for that matter. Between the comparison to cake in the face (what?) and the reference to just having to “roll that dice” for the sake of a prank, he clearly doesn’t get it. Also, #dennisthemenace? No.
This all adds up to yet another reason why April Fools Day should be cancelled—unless your prank ends with your sister slathering cream cheese onto her armpits, which is objectively funny. In the current climate, with so much trash already circulating around the internet, we don’t need a day dedicated to more BS and “jokes.” Especially when those jokes are at the expense of people struggling with fertility.