YouTube star David Dobrik celebrated his 18.8 million followers on February 8 by showcasing his brand-new multi-million dollar mansion. Less than two months later, Dobrik almost completely lost all of his advertising and account monetization due to misbehavior claims involving sexual assault.
Dobrik gained notoriety through his regular video blogs with the “Vlog Squad,” a group of friends and content producers.
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The Vlog Squad goes around Los Angeles playing practical jokes and causing trouble for one another. The group’s membership is a moving target and is not fixed.
Dobrik has been on top of his game, increasing his presence on social media sites like Instagram and TikTok while even experimenting with podcasting. The lack of regular YouTube material was caused by his attention being split between so many platforms and the debut of his own photo-sharing app, “Dispo.”
Up until this spring, Dobrik and his merry gang of vloggers were just having fun. However, this void was filled when former friends and coworkers came forward to accuse Dobrik and his crew of bullying and sexual assault.
Since then, a number of news outlets have presented timings demonstrating that Dobrik’s portrayal as the “kid next door” may only be an act. Content from 2017 and earlier depicts Dobrik and the Vlog Squad “pranking” others, particularly girls, in ways that may not seem to be done purely for amusement.
Members of the Vlog Squad have also come under fire for making obscene and inappropriate jokes and comments in some of the videos. The material has occasionally been criticized for being both sexist and racist.
A fellow YouTuber and former member of the Squad, Seth Francois, discussed some of the prejudice he encountered when hanging out with Dobrik’s crew. He portrays Dobrik and his buddies in one of his movies making jokes about dressing in Blackface, giving him watermelon, and toy-acting Francois.
Another former member of the Vlog Squad, Nick Keswani, also attacked Dobrik and his crew for making fun of him because of his height and handicap. Keswani was born with a unique kind of dwarfism that also rendered his left eye blind.
Another former member of the Vlog Squad and the ex-girlfriend of famous Squad member Jason Nash, Trisha Paytas, charged Dobrik with photographing her in her underwear without her permission. When Paytas and Nash were having sex, Dobrik concealed in the room and recorded her while she was nude. Paytas requested Dobrik not to upload since she had objected to the shooting.
Dobrik has apologized and taken down videos, but many consider his earnest expressions of regret to be hollow. The controversy that might end his career is the most recent one.
A girl alleged that Dom Zeglaitis, a Vlog Squad member, had sexually assaulted her. The alleged rape allegedly took on the same evening as a video that included many group members making jokes about having group sex. Paytas testified that because the young woman and her companions were underage, Dobrik requested Nash to get alcohol for them.
Since then, Dobrik has created an apologetic video, which has drawn even more flak. Dobrik has lost 100,000 members in addition to sponsorships from Bumble, Frank’s Red Hot, Chipotle, Dollar Shave Club, and SeatGeek.
Dobrik resigned from the Dispo board, and YouTube briefly disabled the monetization of both his and Zeglaitis’s accounts. He is no longer included in lineups, and commercial partnerships are dissolving left and right.
Dobrik used to be known as the “King of YouTube,” but he is now more like the court jester.