David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad finally crumbles

Anya Grondalski, Staff Writer

David Dobrik is a multi-millionaire with over 18.5 million subscribers on YouTube who has built an empire by creating comedic content that pokes fun at racial issues, sexual assault, disabilities, religions and more.

Screenshot from Twitter

If it’s not something you should laugh about, Dobrik and his squad have.

Business Insider recently published an article explaining a night in which the Vlog Squad enabled member Dominykas Zeglaitis, better known as Durte Dom, to rape a 20-year-old woman.

However, let’s start at the beginning of Dobrik’s exposed horrors.

Between Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, 2019, Trisha Paytas, YouTuber and social media star, was admitted to a mental facility after attempting suicide following months of trauma at the hands of Dobrik and his group. She was admitted two more times following her breakup with Vlog Squad member Jason Nash and the group’s severance of communication with her.

Throughout the following year, Paytas posted multiple videos to her YouTube channel detailing her experience with the Vlog Squad. This subsequently led the Vlog Squad to perpetuate a “Trisha is crazy” frenzy across the internet, thus invalidating her credibility by citing her mental health issues and breakup with Nash as evidence of her incoherency.

Joseph Francois, more widely known as Seth, played the role of “the one Black friend” in Dobrik’s vlogs for years. It wasn’t until this year that Francois came forward detailing the blatant racism and sexual assault he suffered during his time working with Dobrik.

One particular instance happened when the squad tricked Francois into making out with Nash, who he thought was Corinna Kopf, the resident “slutty” girl of the vlogs. Since he came forward about the experience, Paytas and popular YouTuber Ethan Klein have continued to advocate for Francois on their podcast “Frenemies.” Klein furthered his support with his wife Hila Klein on their show “H3 Afterdark.”

Since Paytas and Francois came forward, others were inspired to speak out on their negative experiences in Dobrik’s vlogs, detailing the disturbing power dynamic he created to coerce members into making uncomfortable content in exchange for clout or cash payments.

Returning to Zeglaitis, the Vlog Squad members were present for a skit when a group of underaged girls showed up to his apartment to reportedly have a fivesome with him. However, the girls’ said via social media messages with Zeglaitis that they were not interested in having sexual relations, and that they were instead interested in meeting Dobrik. Dobrik is reported on multiple witness accounts to have asked Nash to go to the store and get alcohol to “loosen up” the group of girls.

Paytas, his girlfriend at the time, acknowledged the disturbing nature of the situation and convinced Nash that they should leave. Afterward, Todd Smith and Jeff Wittek, both Vlog Squad members and content creators, reportedly returned to the apartment with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Dobrik’s vlog from the night details that “after a stroke of luck and master negotiating, Dom made progress.” The girls are seen then following Zeglaitis into a bedroom.

One of the witnesses released a picture from the night that shows the rape victim being physically held up by her friends. She claimed that she woke up still intoxicated after the night’s events and had no recollection of having sexual relations with anyone. However, she continues to suffer from physical trauma.

The article sparked the massive downfall of Dobrik’s empire, with members such as Wittek and Scotty Sire coming forward with varying apology videos and recounts of the evening’s events. Dobrik’s manager and childhood friend Natalie Noel released a statement on Instagram on March 23.

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the recent allegations and because of the severity, it’s taken me time to process,” Noel wrote. “Like many of you, I’m upset and angry and do not condone the behavior detailed in the article or any sexual misconduct/abuse for that matter.”

Wittek went as far as to join a live podcast with Paytas and Klein who have dissected the evening’s events thoroughly. On more than one occasion, the pair caught him in a lie.

Dobrik released his own apology video on March 23 titled “3/22/21.”

After the jumbled accounts of what happened and the failure of a number of Vlog Squad members who were involved to speak out, both Paytas and Klein have taken to Twitter to share their disappointment at the response of the group to the serious allegations.

“I know people who had it way worse in his vlogs than me,” Paytas said. “But the humiliation, embarrassment, and total lack of control I had in that final week is something I’ll never shake.”

Since the fallout, companies such as HelloFresh, General Mills, DoorDash, SeatGeek and EA Sports stopped partnering with Dobrik, according to NBC News.

Zeglaitis has not publicly responded to the situation, but many more victims across Twitter, TikTok and Instagram have since come forward detailing their own bad experiences with the infamous group. One girl tweeted how she remembered the Vlog Squad strolling “frat row” at University of California, Los Angeles to pick up underaged girls for its videos. A frat row is an area of a college town concentrated heavily with sorority and fraternity housing.

The common thread seems to be that no one can remember the night correctly.

No one is willing to honestly admit that Dobrik has spent years creating content with a culture of perpetuating negative stereotypes, slut shaming and creating uncomfortable situations in which saying “no” results in punishment.