Podcaster Sofia Franklyn Loses Advertisers After Foul-Mouthed Attack on Disney Star Who Didn’t Answer Her DM
Sofia Franklyn was promoting a mental health service on her podcast when she called Mollee Gray a “f--king bitch” and an inbred for the crime of not answering a DM.
Last week, Sofia Franklyn decided to dedicate the latest episode of her podcast “Sofia with an F” to the topic of toxic relationships. Instead of opening the show with stories from her troubled past romantic pursuits or even the disastrous and nearly litigious fallout of her friendship with her former “Call Her Daddy” podcast co-host Alex Cooper, Franklyn surprisingly chose to address a childhood friend.
“I'm seething,” Franklyn begins her tale, recalling how when she was nine years old, she had a slightly older best friend whom she “idolized” and “loved,” until one day the little girl stopped talking to her.
“I was so heartbroken,” the 28-year-old said. “I remember she threw a birthday party and I remember looking over my fence in my backyard and I could see her and all of her friends celebrating her birthday and I was bawling. My mom marched me down to their house and knocked on the door and asked, ‘Why was Sofia not invited?’ That’s how intense it was.”
Franklyn then fast-forwards to last week when her mom happened to find an old notebook while clearing out the basement. Inside was a note that Franklyn had written about the girl, so she decided to reach out to the long-lost friend on Instagram, who now happens to be relatively well known. While Franklyn didn’t name the woman, she gave so many identifying details about her, it didn’t take long for her fans to discover she was talking about Mollee Gray.
Gray, 30, is a former Disney actress who played Giggles in the two Teen Beach Movies and has rebranded as a content creator on TikTok, where she has more than 1 million followers and is part of the LGBT TikTok collective Pride House with her husband Jeka Jane.
But when Gray didn’t immediately respond to Franklyn’s nostalgic DM, she went ballistic. “This fucking bitch opened my message and did not respond,” she ranted. “What the fuck is she? She has a blue checkmark on Instagram, for what? She has a million followers on TikTok, but for what, like, what does she do?”
“She has an issue with me, that stupid fucking blonde disgusting chicklet gum mouth bitch,” Franklyn spat. “Give me a fucking response, like, she knows who I am.”
“She’s a fucking cunt,” Franklyn said in a portion of the episode that has since been removed. “I think she’s fucking stupid, and gross, and she wants to be Julianne Hough and she never will be because you look like an inbred and you have a Muppet mouth.”
At one point, Franklyn dismisses any future criticism that her comments might bring, saying, “I don’t care if this segment pisses people off.”
“I hope there's a Teen Beach Movie 3 because I think that's gonna be the end of your fucking career because you are such a big bitch,” she added, before pivoting into advice about how to change the settings on your phone’s camera to invert your photos for a better selfie.
Teasing the episode on her podcast’s Instagram page, Franklyn wrote, “I also go the fuck OFF in the beginning of the episode cuz what would a Thursday morning be without a little drama.”
Ironically, one of the tagged advertisements in Franklyn’s podcast is for BetterHelp, which encourages mental health awareness and bills itself as the “world’s largest e-counseling platform,” where people who “struggle with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere.”
BetterHelp confirmed to The Daily Beast that it had ended its relationship with Franklyn over her comments. “Upon hearing about the situation, we decided to terminate the relationship,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “BetterHelp does not tolerate that kind of behavior from the people that we partner with or sponsor.”
The Daily Beast understands that clothing subscription service StitchFix is also no longer advertising with the podcast, nor will it ever work with Franklyn again.
The three other companies listed as advertisers in the episode did not return requests for comment. Franklyn and Gray also did not return requests for comment.
Shortly after the podcast went up, Franklyn’s fans began spamming Gray’s Instagram and TikTok accounts, tagging Franklyn and the podcast. Some told her to reach out to Franklyn so she could “get some closure from the trauma you caused her at nine [years old].”
Gray was so bombarded with messages that she finally decided to address the situation on Tuesday in a four-part TikTok, showing the correspondence between her and Franklyn.
She explained that when Franklyn reached out to her and sent the picture of the notebook, it was blurred out because she didn’t follow the podcaster. “I didn't really know who she was, and she had a lot of followers and was verified, I thought maybe her account got hacked,” Gray said. “I get loads of inappropriate pictures, so I didn't want to open a blurred image from somebody I didn't know.”
Gray said it also happened to be her late grandmother’s birthday on that day, so she wasn’t in the “mindset of responding” to someone she didn’t know. Two days later, Gray was going through her messages, making sure she responded to everyone who wished her a happy birthday when she saw that she never responded to Franklyn.
She opened the photo and responded “omggggg.” And that was the last of it, until last Thursday when she said people began spamming her account over Franklyn’s podcast episode. Gray then messaged Franklyn, asking, “Why are people commenting on my post to answer you and saying I was mean to you? Lol.”
Gray said someone directed her to the podcast episode where she heard Franklyn’s rant about her, describing it as “very vulgar, very hurtful and pretty offensive.”
“I'm just lucky to have a lot of people in my corner that give me love and help me and to say, all that stuff is not true,” she said. “My worry is [for] those who idolize Sofia and honor her for speaking this way about somebody, don't use a platform to talk negatively about someone because it teaches our younger generation that it's OK.”
Gray later told a commenter on Instagram that Franklyn had tried to reach out and have her come on the podcast, but she “politely declined.”
“I couldn’t look at someone in the eyes who had all the terrible stuff to say about me,” she wrote. “Even down to my looks, my career, my teeth… all because supposedly I didn’t invite her to my birthday over 20 years ago. Sad thing is we probably could have been friends if she just reached out, and waited two days, because I did respond… but I guess I dodged a bullet, I couldn’t imagine being friends with someone that hateful.”
Franklyn finally addressed her remarks on Tuesday afternoon, apologizing to Gray and for her comments in an Instagram story. “I have already sent a personal apology but feel this needs to be addressed publicly,” she wrote. “I made a mistake on my episode this past week that I regret. I told an anonymous story about someone I knew as a child. I didn’t include the name for a reason and I’m still not including the name.”
“Looking back, I naively left too many breadcrumbs within the story and that was a reckless mistake. My intent was never for those words to reach that person, but regardless of my intent, speaking that way about anyone is not funny nor is it OK. I am sorry. Sincerely.”