The mother of bullied Tennessee student Keaton Jones, Kimberly Jones, is responding to the backlash she's received after Facebook posts showed the family posing with a Confederate flag.
Celebrites such as Chris Evans and Justin Bieber rallied around 11-year-old Keaton over the weekend, when a heartbreaking video Kimberly shared on social media showed her son in tears over students at school bullying him. However, the family was scrutinized shortly after thanks to the controversial photos, with some slamming Kimberly as racist. In an interview with CBS News, Kimberly discussed the backlash.
"The only two photos -- the only two photos on my entire planet that I am anywhere near a Confederate flag. It was ironic. It was funny," Jones said.
Kimberly adamently denied the photos were posted with racist intent.
"No. No. Absolutely not," she stressed. "I've said I spent most of my life being bullied and judged because I wasn't racist."
In another interview with Good Morning America, Kimberly again explained that the pictures were meant to be "ironic" and "funny."
“I am genuinely truly sorry," she noted. "If I could take it back, I would. ... I feel like anybody who wants to take the time to ask anybody who I am, or even troll through some other pictures, I mean, I feel like we're not racist. I mean, people that know us, know us.”
A GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $57,000 for Keaton has now been put on hold. In an interview with the Today show, Kimberly said she was trying to take the dramatic turn of events in stride. She has also made her Facebook account private.
"I mean that, you know, yesterday he was a hero. You know, the world loved us. Today, the world hates us," she said. "And again, I'm trying really hard to think that I was trying not to get caught up in the positives. So, we're not going to get caught up in the negatives."
On Monday, Keaton spoke to CBS' Knoxville, Tennessee, affiliate WVLT Local 8 News, and reacted to the outpouring of support from celebrities. Keaton shared that the response that meant the most to him was from Evans, who invited him to The Avengers: Infinity War premiere next year.
"Most definitely, I love Captain America, and to know I have Captain America on my side, that is amazing," Keaton marveled.
He also talked about why he decided to let his mom share his emotional video.
"I wanted to spread the word of bullying and how it makes people feel that are impacted by it," Keaton explained, adding that he had no idea it would go viral.
For more on Keaton, watch the video below:
Chris Evans, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and More Support Bullied Student After Heartbreaking Video
Keaton Jones Reacts to Outpouring of Support After Viral Bullying Video
Prince William Helps a Mom and Teen Cope With Cyberbullying: Watch