A&E

From Giving Away Teslas to Losing Sponsorships

By Aubrianna Gholar

David Dobrik started out as a comedian on the video hosting app, Vine and has since gained over 20 million subscribers on YouTube. He is commonly seen making YouTube videos with his content creating group, “Vlog Squad,” and giving away prizes to subscribers.  

Other members of the Vlog Squad include Todd Smith, Josh Peck, Jason Nash, Zane Hijazi, Erin Gilfoyand, Jonah Antonyan, Scotty Sire, Corinna Kopf, Matt King, Carly Incontro, Jeff Wittek and Heath Hussar. 

On Tuesday, March 16, Business Insider published an article where an anonymous woman said she was raped during the filming of one of Dobrik’s 2018 videos. Dobrik titled the 2018 video “SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!” In the video Dobrik shows the women going into a bed room with Durte Dom, former Vlog Squad member, and includes Dom and Dobrik joking about going to jail for group sex. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Buzzfeed released an article where Seth Francois, former Vlog Squad member, said in a 2017 video posted by Dobrik he was sexually assaulted. Francois was told he would be kissing his friend Corrina Koft, however, it was Jason Nash in costume. 

Francois also uploaded a YouTube video in 2020 titled “Accountability to all content creators” where he goes in depth about how the Vlog Squad would use his race as a punchline for jokes in youtube videos. 

On Friday, Feb. 5 Nick Keswani, former Vlog Squad Member, spoke on H3 podcast, where he shared he was mocked by the Vlog Squad for his disabilities. 

Eleven days later YouTuber Trisha Paytas went on H3 podcast and said while she was dating Jason Nash, Dobrik hid in the room while they were having sex and filmed them. Dobrik posted the content of Paytas in a video titled “I SNUCK INTO THEIR HOTEL ROOM (SURPRISE)” after Paytas asked him to not post the footage. 

On Monday, March 1, Dobrik launched a photo sharing app called Dispo. TikToker @karimxismail came up with the name Dispo and included the name in a series of TikToks applying to be a designer for Dobrik’s app. Although David and his team met with @karimxismail they ended up not choosing him as a designer but they kept his idea for the name. 

Dobrik gave his first apology on June 30, 2020 in a Vlog Squad Podcast on the episode titled “Auditioning for SNL”.  Fans criticized his apology due to his lack of mentioning the events he was apologizing for or the people he was apologizing to. 

On Tuesday, March 16, Dobrik posted his second apology on his joint YouTube account with Nash, a two-minute titled “Let’s Talk” where he stated, “Whether I’m shooting with a friend or shooting with a stranger, I always make sure that whatever the video I’m putting out, I have the approval from that person.”

In “Let’s Talk” Dobrik also stated that he had distanced himself from former Vlog Squad members because he does not agree with their actions. 

Dobrik posted a video on Tuesday, March 23, on his personal youtube channel, which was a seven minute video titled “3/22/21”. He stated that he believes “..the woman who came out against Dom,” and that he should have never posted the video. He ended his video by saying he will be taking a break from uploading content. 

“I feel like at least in his second video he’s more sincere, but I noticed the point that people made that he only made the video after losing sponsors which kind of has me losing a bit of trust with him,” said University of Tampa sophomore biology major, Isabel Castro.

On Monday, March 22, Dobrik announced he will be stepping down from Dispo. 

Since these issues with Vlog Squad have been exposed they have lost many sponsorships including DoorDash, Chipotle, Audible and Facebook. Dobrik also lost 100,000 YouTube subscribers on Friday, March 19. 

“If he was the one who committed the act of sexual assault then yes I would not support him as a content creator, but he has distanced himself form the guy who did it and has removed the videos. Although things are on the internet forever, I think it is a step in the right direction for David,” said freshman elementary education major, Mia Wybel.

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