Why YouTuber David Dobrik Is In Serious Trouble

Photo: YouTube
David Dobrik

YouTuber David Dobrik, is under fire after a collaborator and member of his "Vlog Squad" was accused of raping a woman during the filming of a video about group sex that was published on — and later deleted from — Dobrik's channel.

In an investigation first reported by Insider, a woman has alleged that Vlog Squad member Dom Zeglaitis sexually assaulted her in 2018 after she was given alcohol to the point of incapacitation, despite being 20 at the time and under the legal drinking age.

The woman, who said Dobrik filmed her as she entered a room to engage in a threesome, alleged she was too intoxicated to consent. That video was titled "SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!!"

Since the accusations were brought to light, 13 brands have severed ties with Dobrik, including Hello Fresh, Chipotle, and EA Sports, who once sent Dobrik a $290,000 Lamborghini.

Dobrik also stepped down from the board of Dispo, a disposable camera company he co-founded.

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Dobrik has thus far released two apology videos.

The first, a two-and-a-half-minute video titled "Let's Talk" that he posted to his video podcast channel "Views" with comments disabled, focused largely on having received consent to post the original video.

The Views channel has 1.7 million subscribers as opposed to Dobrik's main channel which has 18.6 million subscribers, a fact that was not lost on fans who suggested Dobrik buried his apology by sharing it with a far smaller audience.

In the second video, titled simply "3/22/21," Dobrik said, "I've put myself in a lot of situations where I've needed to apologize for past actions and I've never done this correctly and I've never done this respectfully, and my last video is a testament to that."

This is not the YouTuber's first brush with controversy or the first indication of problematic behavior.

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In June 2020, former Vlog Squad member Joseth "Seth" Francois released a video about creator accountability, sharing clips and stories of the racism he faced as a member of Dobrik's friend group.

At one point Dobrik and his (white) friends offered Francois a drink then took him to a refrigerator filled with watermelons, engaging in blackface with Francois's reaction as the punchline.

Francois was also twice tricked into kissing Jason Nash, a comedian in his late 40s. Francois is 26.

The first time, Francois was told he was kissing a female friend. The second time, Francois was told he was kissing models dressed as gorillas as part of an audition for Jack Link's jerky.

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Francois has referred to both incidents as sexual assault, adding that the "gorilla kiss" reference was also racist.

"I first off just really want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this type of content and not taking a stand for my people," Francois said.

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Courtney Enlow is a writer and editor whose work has appeared at Vanity Fair, Glamour, Pajiba, SYFY FANGRRLS, Bustle, Huffington Post, io9, and others. She has two kids, two dogs, and requires more wine, please.