David Dobrik, 24, is likely one of the best-known YouTubers in Hollywood. He made a reputation for himself on Vine, the short-form video app that created a technology of on-line stars. Then he moved on to YouTube, the place he and a gaggle of pals referred to as the Vlog Squad started sharing fast-paced comedic content material, typically involving stunts.
Since 2014, he’s amassed greater than 18 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel.
However an investigation by Kat Tenbarge at Insider printed this week, detailing sexual assault allegations in opposition to a former Vlog Squad member, led many viewers to angrily re-evaluate Mr. Dobrik’s work and their fandom. Now it’s difficult the success of his rising empire.
On Friday, a spokesperson for HelloFresh, one in all his sponsors, mentioned: “We will verify that we’re not working with David Dobrik or any member of the Vlog Squad and don’t have any plans to work with them once more sooner or later.”
“We’ve made the choice to finish our relationship and cancel all deliberate exercise,” mentioned a consultant for Greenback Shave Membership. A spokesperson for EA Sports activities, which as soon as gave Mr. Dobrik a Lamborghini, mentioned the corporate “can verify we’re not presently working with him nor do we’ve got any plans to in future.”
On Thursday, SeatGeek, the ticketing firm that’s one in all Mr. Dobrik’s largest advertisers, advised Insider it was “reviewing” the corporate’s partnership.
In 2018, Mr. Dobrik posted a video on his YouTube channel known as “SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!” It confirmed footage of younger girls socializing with Mr. Dobrik and members of the Vlog Squad as the boys joked about having sexual encounters with them. Later, one of many males, Dom Zeglaitis, recounts having intercourse with one in all them.
That girl advised Insider that she was incapacitated by alcohol in the course of the course of the night and described the expertise as rape. Her account was corroborated by not less than one different girl who was current.
The lady confirmed her story to The New York Occasions and supplied photos, texts and video from the night to corroborate her account.
“We’re going to jail,” Mr. Dobrik said on the finish of the video.
The lady reached out to Mr. Zeglaitis to ask that the video be eliminated; it was, after receiving greater than 5 million views.
The accuser has not contacted the police, and no fees have been filed.
Mr. Dobrik declined by a consultant to remark. He launched a video addressing the story on Tuesday.
“I needed to come back on right here actual fast and handle some conversations which are happening on the web,” Mr. Dobrik mentioned within the video, titled “Let’s speak.” It was posted to a secondary channel that has a couple of tenth of the followers of his foremost channel.
Mr. Dobrik mentioned within the video that “consent is one thing that’s tremendous, tremendous necessary to me.” He added that he seeks approval from everybody who seems in his movies and can take movies down if these featured in them not need to be included.
“There’s additionally been moments the place I’ve seemed again on movies, and I notice that these don’t signify me anymore, and so they’re hurtful to different folks, and I don’t need them up as a result of I’ve grown as a content material creator and as an individual,” he mentioned. “And I don’t agree with among the movies I’ve posted.”
“I’m sorry if I’ve allow you to down,” he mentioned.
Final month, a former Vlog Squad member named Joseth “Seth” Francois mentioned he was sexually assaulted in one in all Mr. Dobrik’s movies. In it, he was tricked into kissing Jason Nash, one other YouTuber; Mr. Francois believed he was kissing a girl.
“The purpose of the video is to sexually assault me. That’s the entire premise,” Mr. Francois advised BuzzFeed.
Mr. Dobrik addressed that incident in his apology. “With the Seth state of affairs, I’m sorry to Seth, as a result of like I mentioned, I simply need to make movies the place everyone in it, whether or not you’re taking part or watching, is having fun with and having time,” Mr. Dobrik mentioned. “And I missed the mark with that one. And I’m actually sorry. I actually, actually am.”
Mr. Dobrik’s profession as an entertainer has made him rich sufficient to buy a $9.5 million home in Los Angeles — full with a Hawaiian Punch fountain.
Early final 12 months, Mr. Dobrik was dubbed “Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon” by The Wall Road Journal. Final April, he stepped again from common vlogging, which had turn out to be difficult in the course of the pandemic, and turned his focus to different initiatives, together with launching his personal photograph sharing app, known as Dispo.
That app’s ranking dropped beneath two stars in Apple’s app retailer this week. Apple briefly paused the flexibility to depart evaluations, as folks crowded to the house to berate Mr. Dobrik within the type of scores and evaluations.
Mr. Dobrik has misplaced greater than 100,000 subscribers on his main YouTube channel within the final week.
In Mr. Dobrik’s apology video, he additionally mentioned that he “selected to distance” himself from some folks beforehand featured in his content material. “I don’t stand for any sort of misconduct,” he mentioned, “and I’ve been actually dissatisfied in a few of my pals, and for that cause I’ve separated from a number of them.”