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Monday, December 6, 2021

Companies Are Dropping YouTuber David Dobrik Amid ‘Vlog Squad’ Rape Allegations

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YouTube darling David Dobrik is losing lucrative company sponsorships after a woman told Insider he filmed a comedic video during the night she alleges she was raped by a member of his “Vlog Squad” in 2018.

Key Facts

Hello Fresh, General Mills, EA Sports and DoorDash, have ended their partnerships with Dobrik, the companies confirmed to Forbes, while Dollar Shave Club and Audible told Insider they were also dropping Dobrik in the wake of the allegations.

The anonymous woman, who was 20 at the time, told Insider that members of the “Vlog Squad,” a group of friends who film content with Dobrik for his channel, plied her with alcohol to the point where she was incapacitated.

The woman, whose friends were fans of Dobrik’s, accuses Dominykas Zeglaitis, who goes by the name Durte Dom, of raping her during group sex when she was “blacked out” and could not consent at the time.

In a vlog uploaded by Dobrik titled “SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!,” Vlog Squad members are seen attempting to peek into the room while the alleged assault was occurring and joking about Zeglaitis having a threesome with the woman.

Dobrik’s video got 5 million views before it was taken down at the request of the woman, and by 2019 Zeglaitis said he stopped appearing in Dobrik’s videos to pursue his own projects.

Dobrik apologized in a video Tuesday where he said “consent is super, super important” when filming for his channel and that he’s chosen to distance himself from Zeglaitis and other friends because he “doesn’t stand for any kind of misconduct.”

Crucial Quote

“There are moments when I look back on videos and I realize that these don’t represent me anymore and they’re hurtful to to other people and I don’t want them up because I’ve grown as a content creator and as a person and I don’t agree with some of the videos I’ve posted,” Dobrik said in his apology video.

Key Background

Dobrik first rose to fame on the now-defunct short-video sharing app Vine, but has since ascended the Internet influencer ranks on YouTube and TikTok. Forbes estimates Dobrik was among last year’s highest-paid YouTube stars, raking in $15.5 million earnings fueled by large brand partnerships. Now, Dobrik’s business empire is expanding to the buzzy photo-sharing app Dispo, which was raised money from Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm Seven Seven Six and celebrity investors Sofia Vergara and The Chainsmokers.

What To Watch For

SeatGeek, one of Dobrik’s most well-known sponsors, told Insider it was “reviewing internally how we want to proceed.”

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