Dane Cook’s engagement announcement has drawn heated criticism and mockery online due to the age difference between him and his new fiancée.
Cook, 50, announced his engagement to Kelsi Taylor, 23, who he has been dating for five years. The couple both spread their happy news to the world with sweet social media posts, but the comment section for both was filled with people expressing their concern.
The couple started dating when Taylor was 18 and the comedian was 45, but there are differing reports online as to how old Taylor was when they first met.
“The love of my life is now my fiancé! To everyone who sends us love and positive notes, we greatly appreciate it,” Cook wrote on social media, attaching a “very tasty” video. of the couple looking happy together.
Many social media users have speculated on Taylor’s age when Cook first met her, but the exact age has yet to be confirmed by either party.
Speaking during an Instagram Live Q&A in August 2019, Cook revealed how and when they met. “We met at a game night I host at my house,” he said, “We were friends for a while and soon after we fell in love with each other. other [other] then upgraded to love.”
In May 2017, Cook tweeted a question, asking, “If you could go back and say one thing to your 15-year-old, what would it be?” This thread’s comments section remained intact for years, but on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, social media users flocked to comment on the thread and retweeted the post, referencing her engagement to Taylor.
Taylor confirmed in her Instagram announcement that Cook had in fact proposed to her weeks ago. Celebrities like Nikki Glaser, Sarah Hyland, Heather Dubrow and more congratulated the couple on their announcement.
Elsewhere on the internet, people were less complimentary about their relationship.
“Look who’s engaged to the woman he started dating when she was 18, and he was 45. Not weird at all,” food and culture writer Mariel Songy wrote on Twitter.
The other comedians also made sure to pay attention to the couple as it was a trending topic. “Dane Cook and his fiancée are signed up for Build-A-Bear,” joked Christian Finnegan. “Don’t bother me, I’m just doing math,” Gianmarco Soresi wrote, retweeting the news of their engagement with both of their ages included.
Screenwriter Meecham Whitson Meriweather expressed confusion and concern for Taylor. “He’s 50 and she’s 23. Like darling, you’re pretty, you don’t have to settle for that,” he wrote.
Many others took a more serious approach in voicing their criticisms. “I’m trying so hard to be happy for you but I can’t get over the fact that you as a 45 year old took advantage of an 18 year old,” @wrote heyapplepie straight to Cook, “How in the world did you even have anything in common with someone more than two decades younger than you.”
Thousands of Reddit users also had their say on the happy couple’s announcement, once again commenting on the age difference.
“Wow when i was a teenager i had a crush on him, i didn’t know i had a chance with him…” wrote one user. Another pointed out that legally there’s nothing wrong with the relationship, “Even though 18 and 45 is really bad or even disgusting, it’s not illegal.”
According to Famousbirthdays.com, Taylor was born on October 26, 1998. She is a singer and social media personality. Cook has previously expressed his admiration for Taylor’s ability as a musician, including in the first photo he posted of them together. “My girlfriend @itskelsitaylor is one of my favorite people on the planet,” he wrote in April 2017, “She’s a talented singer but more importantly she’s a genuine person. Listen to her music and get to know her. She will go far!”
In February 2019, Cook appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and addressed the age difference between him and his then-girlfriend who he had been with for “almost two years” at that time.
The fact that the couple have been together for, as Cook said, “almost two years” implies that they got together sometime in 2017. If the anniversary given to her online is correct, she will have turned 18 on October 26. 2016.
Newsweek has contacted Dane Cook representatives for further comment.