Trigger warning: This article mentions the sensitive topic of sexual assault.
Ultra-popular YouTuber, David Dobrik, and his group of vloggers, self-named the ‘Vlog Squad,’ are losing brand deals left and right as sexual assault allegations have surfaced against the them. The YouTube superstars at the center of the allegations include David Dobrik as well as his friend, Dom Zeglaitis.
Over the past weekend, Business Insider published an interview with an anonymous woman who claimed she was involved in a nonconsensual threesome with Zeglaitis in which she was too drunk to consent and claims that Zeglaitis raped her. David Dobrik is involved as he allegedly filmed them entering the bedroom with her, and was then posted on YouTube days after the incident, before she requested that it be removed.
This is not the first time someone has felt sexually violated involving the Vlog Squad. Former member, Joseph Francois, claimed that he was sexually assaulted in a prank video, in which, he was tricked into kissing another man, thinking it was a woman back in 2017. When he requested the video be taken down, he claimed they offered him money in return of keeping the video on the channel, which does not address the root of the issue.
Brands Are Cutting Ties
In order to save face and stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assault, many brands who have ties with Dobrik and the Vlog Squad are cutting their brands off, including Dollar Shave Club, EA Sports, and DoorDash. Over the past weekend, after the allegations came to light, many posted statements regarding the issue at hand.
HelloFresh released a statement to The New York Times stating, “We can confirm that we are no longer working with David Dobrik or any member of the Vlog Squad and do not have any plans to work with them again in the future.”
In the same piece, Dollar Shave Club also announced their separation from the vlogger saying, “We’ve made the decision to end our relationship and cancel all planned activity,” and EA Sports told the Times that they, “can confirm we are not currently working with him nor do we have any plans to in future.”
The event ticket platform, Seat Geek, told Business Insider that it would be reviewing the company’s relationship with Dobrik.
When Youtube became less exciting over the past year in quarantine, Dobrik co-founded an app for photo-sharing called ‘Dispo.’ He has since stepped down from the platform in an attempt to save the app’s social presence.
In response to the allegations, David Dobrik took to YouTube for a 2 and half minute video to address video consent and his relationship with people who have been under fire, including Dom.
He apologized to Jospeh Francois for his actions claiming he just wants to make videos funny and engaging for everyone involved. He also told his viewers that he has distanced himself with Dom Zeglaitis, because he does not stand for misconduct of any kind.
It is unclear where Dobrik will go from here regarding his Youtube careers or if any more allegations against the Vlog Squad will surface in the coming weeks. We can only offer our support to survivors of sexual assault.