If you’re wondering “Who is David Dobrik?”, then consider yourself lucky that you’ve avoided him for this long. The not-so-innocent family-friendly YouTuber has made himself one of the most influential social media stars, but not without sacrifice.
Following the end of Vine, the internet personality took his joie de vivre to YouTube in 2015. With David Dobrik was his group of frat boy-like companions, who named themselves the Vlog Squad. After releasing a steady stream of chaotic four-minute prank videos, Dobrik and his team soon found themselves followed by millions of viewers and swimming in cash.
As you could imagine with such a high-earning empire and complete lack of professionalism came a downfall of controversy & scandals. Find out just who David Dobrik is, and what he has let slip past all in the name of fame.
Rape allegations & negligence
Unfortunately, with the frat boy mentality usually comes the complete disregard for sexual consent. In March 2021, the twenty-five-year-old’s popular Vlog Squad came under fire after a young woman revealed that she was raped by member Dom Zeglaitis in 2018 after filming a video.
Despite being under twenty-one, the woman (who only revealed herself as Hannah) was given large amounts of alcohol and soon blacked out. In her vulnerable state, she claims Zeglaitis raped her without her consent. The account was first reported by Insider’s Kat Tenbarge, who spoke about the dangerous conditions of David Dobrik’s unprofessional film set.
“This is what it’s really like going into a situation involving an incredibly famous YouTuber . . . Hannah was uncomfortable, and from the moment she walked in the door there were cameras in her face,” Tenbarge told BuzzFeed News. “There were no consent forms, no professionalism, no structure. It wasn’t operating like a business, even though that’s what it was. It was operating like a frat house, but bringing in millions of dollars.”
Unable to avoid the blow to his public image, David Dobrik posted two different apology videos to his side channel on YouTube – of course, with the comments turned off. After his first video was criticized for not recognizing his own involvement in a toxic workplace, he uploaded a second video where he cried on camera. He apologized to Hannah for the “environment [he] enabled that made them feel like their safety and values were compromised.”
Fatal working conditions
After that fiasco, which didn’t even have any major effect on his income, the YouTube star took a three-month hiatus from social media. However, it wasn’t too long before controversy surfaced. Actually, it was only a month later when Vlog Squad member Jeff Wittek revealed he nearly died at the hands of Dobrik.
In April 2021, Wittek uploaded the first part of a documentary titled Don’t Try This at Home on YouTube. In his tell-all video, Wittek reveals that he almost died while swinging from an excavator operated by – an unlicensed – Dobrik.
The accident that occurred in June 2020 left Wittek with permanent injuries to his eye & face. Due to his personal friendship with Dobrik, Wittek decided not to press charges against his unsaid boss.
Canceled, but not really
Due to these back-to-back scandalous allegations, David Dobrik lost 600,000 subscribers on YouTube. Despite that seeming like a critical blow, it really wasn’t. This loss was only 3% of Dobrik’s entire audience.
Dobrik, who has complained about being “canceled”, remains a millionaire. With 70 million combined followers on social media, a TV series, and 7 billion views on YouTube, the star is nowhere near being shunned. No matter the mayhem behind the scenes, David Dobrik continues to put on a blinding smile for the camera. Anything for the paycheck, right?
Did you know who David Dobrik was? What do you think about his various scandals? Let us know in the comments below.