On Feb. 8, YouTube sensation David Dobrik hit 18.8 million subscribers on his channel and showed off his new multi-million dollar home. Less than two months later, Dobrik lost nearly all of his advertisers and account monetization because of sexual assault allegations as misconduct.
Dobrik rose to fame through his weekly vlogs with the “Vlog Squad,” a collective of friends and creators.
The Vlog Squad travels around Los Angeles pulling pranks and wreaking havoc on each other. The group does not have set members, but is constantly changing.
Dobrik has been at the top of his game, expanding his influence across social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and even dabbling in podcasting. However, focusing his attention on so many different platforms and launching his own photo-sharing app “Dispo” led to a gap in regular YouTube content.
Everything was for kicks and giggles for Dobrik and his jolly band of vloggers until this spring, when this gap was filled with ex-friends and colleagues coming forward with bullying and sexual misconduct allegations toward Dobrik and his squad.
Several news sites have since provided timelines showing that Dobrik’s “boy next door” persona may just be an act. Content going back to 2017 shows Dobrik and the Vlog Squad “pranking” people, especially girls, in ways that may not seem like they are just in good fun.
Vlog Squad members in some of the videos have also been criticized for making crude and inappropriate jokes and comments. Not only has the content been considered sexist, but racist at times as well.
Seth Francois, fellow YouTuber and former Squad member, explained some of the racism he experienced while being a part of Dobrik’s group. In one of his videos, he shows Dobrik and friends joking about doing Blackface, offering him watermelon and tokenizing Francois.
Nick Keswani, another former Vlog Squad member, also criticized Dobrik and his group for bullying him about his height and disabilities. Keswani has a rare form of dwarfism that also caused him to be blind in his left eye.
Trisha Paytas, another former Vlog Squad member and ex-girlfriend of prominent Squad member Jason Nash, accused Dobrik of filming her nude without her consent. Dobrik hid in the room when Paytas and Nash were having sex and filmed her while she was nude. Paytas did not consent to the filming and asked Dobrik not to post.
Dobrik has removed videos and apologized, but many criticize his apologies as being insincere and superficial. The most recent scandal may be the one to put his career to rest.
A young woman claimed she was raped by Vlog Squad member Dom Zeglaitis. The alleged rape occurred the same night as the recording of a video where several members of the group joked about group sex. Paytas confirmed that Dobrik asked Nash to buy alcohol for the young woman and her friends because they were underage.
Dobrik has since released an apology video, which has garnered even more criticism. Dobrik has lost 100,000 subscribers and sponsorships from SeatGeek, Dollar Shave Club, Frank’s Red Hot, Chipotle and Bumble.
Dobrik has stepped down from the Dispo board, and YouTube temporarily suspended both his and Zeglaitis’s accounts from monetization. He has been removed from line-ups, and business relationships are ending left and right.
Dobrik was once the “King of YouTube,” but now appears to be the court jester.
One can’t help but question why? Why have people only recently jumped on the band wagon criticising Dobrik and not at the time of these alleged events? It isn’t like these skits are out of the ordinary for the VlogSquad. Most, if not all of the behaviour has been ongoing and publicly knowfor years.
I do not for one second condone assault or hate speech of any kind but it does beggar the question; why didn’t these members speak out when or even shortly after they ceased working with the so-called ‘King of YouTube?’ I can give it a good guess – and have probably come to the same conclusion as 90% of David Dobrik’s viewers: the offended were happy making good money off the back of it but now it has become trendy to bash Dobrik when he needs his friends even more. Clearly these people were never friends merely allowed themselves to be pawns or prostitutes, if you will, to the $. Afterall, how can one make money from selling their Dobrik stories if he has been demonetised or lost his sponsorships? Selling their stories thats how!
Finally, just to make absolutely clear, to anyone who was genuinely harmed or offended by Dobrik or his crew, I wish you all a speedy recovery & reconciliation with your truth. Those hanging their friend out to dry, shame on you. I am just glad you aren’t my friend.
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