- More major brands, including SeatGeek, said they will no longer be working with YouTuber David Dobrik after Dom Zeglaitis, a member of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad, was accused of raping a girl during a night of filming with the group in 2018.
- Late Monday night, Dobrik issued his second video response to the claim, this time saying he believes the accuser and should have never uploaded the video he filmed the night of the alleged assault.
- Dobrik also apologized for past offensive content he made and for supporting Zeglaitis in the past when other women accused him of sexual misconduct.
- He said he will be taking a break from social media and plans to change the way his content is made in the future to ensure that people in his videos can communicate discomfort in a safe and secure manner.
Brands Pull Partnerships with David Dobrik
YouTuber David Dobrik uploaded a video late Monday night once again addressing allegations that a member of his Vlog Squad raped a 20-year-old woman in 2018 while filming a video for the group.
Last week, Insider published a lengthy investigation detailing the alleged account of a woman who said Dobrik’s friend, Dom Zeglaitis, raped her when she was too drunk to consent. Zeglaitis, known by his fans as “Durte Dom,” has not addressed the allegations, but since they came to light, Dobrik has lost partnerships with major brands. He also stepped away from his biggest business venture yet, Dispo, a photo-sharing social media app that he co-founded.
As of Monday, several more companies told Insider that they will not be working with Dobrik in the future, including HBO Max, Facebook, Audible, Bumble and more. SeatGeek, one of Dobrik’s most notable partnerships, also told TubeFilter on Monday that it is “not currently working with David Dobrik or the Vlog Squad, nor do we have any future planned campaigns.”
This wave of backlash also comes after several former members of the Vlog Squad started speaking out about its toxic and “cult-like” culture. One former member, Seth Francois, said he was sexually assaulted during two “prank” videos Dobrik orchestrated to trick Francois into kissing fellow Vlog Squadder Jason Nash, who was 45-years-old at the time.
Dobrik previously addressed the rape allegation, Francois’ story, and other controversies within the Vlog Squad in a video titled “Let’s Talk” that was slammed online. Many found the apology to be too brief and insincere. Others were upset it was uploaded to his smaller podcast channel as opposed to his main channel.
Dobrik Addresses Allegations
Dobrik’s second apology, by contrast, is over seven-minute-long video and was shared on his main channel. In it, he acknowledged that his first video fell short and took more ownership of issues within the Vlog Squad. He said that while he was unaware of the alleged rape, he should have been more responsible and involved so that he could prevent situations like that from happening. He also said he should not have posted the video that was filmed that night.
“I fully believe the woman who came out against Dom and said she was raped by him, as was reported,” he said. “The next day I got consent to post the video. Even though I got consent to post that video I should have never posted it.
“And what I understand now and I didn’t understand before is that she sent that text because she felt like she had to, not because she wanted to. And that’s f**ked up and I’m sorry,” he continued.
In Insider’s piece, the accuser said she felt pressured to go along with jokes made by members of the Vlog Squad and felt like she could not say “no” to them. In his video, Dobrik said that he did not previously understand that there was an uneven power dynamic that outsiders would feel when they came to film with the Vlog Squad.
“I want to apologize to her and her friends for ever putting them in an environment that I enabled that made them feel like their safety and values were compromised,” he said.
“People felt like they had to stay silent for the sake of my video. And that’s not right and it’s f**ked up and I’m sorry.”
He also addressed previous sexual harassment allegations made against Zeglaitis in the past. Specifically, he apologized to YouTuber Ally Hardesty who said that Zeglaitis groped her and forcibly kissed her in 2017. Zeglaitis eventually made a video addressing his inappropriate behavior with women, which Dobrik supported by commenting that he was “proud” of his friend for “owning up” to his behavior. Now, he says he regrets taking Zeglaitis’ side.
“I couldn’t wrap my head around a childhood friend of mine doing this to people and actually hurting people and I’m sorry for that,” Dobrik added. “Not only did I discredit you Ally, but I platformed Dom. And not only did I platform Dom, I platformed the subject of sexual assault in a negative way where I made jokes about it.”
He said that in 2019, when he started to understand how certain power dynamics were unfair, he began to distance himself from Zeglaitis and stopped making content with him, but fell short of reaching out to the women who had accused him of inappropriate behavior. He apologized for never contacting them.
Dobrik also addressed other offensive content he had made in the past and took ownership for what he had previously described as “bad jokes” that “missed the mark” in his initial apology.
“Before my content shifted to be responsible and positive, I said things that were really offensive and I called them ‘bad jokes’ and I can’t even call them ‘bad jokes,’” he explained. “That was cowardly of me to say in that last apology that ‘I missed the mark’ because it’s fucking gross and I’m sorry.”
Dobrik said he will be taking a break from social media and wants to change the way his production is structured when he returns.
“I want to be able to have a place of checks and balances, I want to have HR, and I want people to be able to communicate discomfort in a way that is comfortable to them,” he said.
Other Vlog Squad Members Speak Out
Several people in Dobrik’s circle also responded to the allegations on Monday, including his former assistant and business partner, Natalie Mariduena.
“I’m upset and angry and do not condone the behavior detailed in the article or any sexual misconduct/abuse for that matter,” she wrote. “I want to make it clear that I acknowledge, hear and support those who came forward and I stand by the victims.”
Vlog Squadders Erin Gilfoy and Carly Incontro posted a video on Monday saying that while they were not there the night the alleged rape occurred, they hope everyone involved in the situation takes accountability.
“We think it’s disgusting what happened and none of that is okay. I just hope that her abuser gets to face the entire full consequence of all of this,” Incontro said.
“I hope that [the accuser] is healing from this situation and I hope that she is able to get justice and the help to just heal from it all,” Gilfoy added later in the video.
See what others are saying: (Insider) (TubeFilter) (Washington Post)
Netflix Strikes Deal for Rights To Sony Movies Following Theatrical Releases. Yes, That Includes Spider-Man.
- Netflix has secured the exclusive rights to stream Sony films following their theatrical releases, per a reported $1 billion deal between the streaming giant and movie studio.
- While the full details of the deal have not yet been officially published, it will begin with Sony’s 2022 slate of films and reportedly last for the following five years.
- The agreement means Netflix will eventually be granted streaming rights to popular Marvel characters such as Morbius, as well as Venom and Spider-Man once future installments are released.
Netflix Reach Massive Deal With Sony
Netflix has struck a multi-year licensing deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment that will grant it exclusive streaming rights to the studio’s theatrical titles.
The terms of the agreement have yet to be officially disclosed, but according to multiple media outlets, Netflix will pay Sony over $1 billion over the course of the next four years. The deal itself is set to begin with Sony’s 2022 slate and will reportedly last five years, with Netflix holding streaming rights to individual films for 18 months.
Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unclear whether some films will continue to have their release dates pushed back. It’s also unclear how long their theatrical windows will last; however, once released, Netflix will acquire streaming rights to films such as “Uncharted,” “Where the Crawdads Sing,” and “Bullet Train.”
Netflix Will Have Marvel Movies Once More
The deal will also grant Netflix access to a number of Marvel characters still owned by Sony. That includes the film “Morbius,” which is currently set to be released in January of next year.
It will also include future installments of the “Venom” and “Spider-Man” franchises, the latter of which is notable as it’s part of the Dinsey-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe. Outside of 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk,” Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man” films are the only other films set in the MCU that are not on Disney+.
Prior to Disney+’s launch, Netflix held streaming rights to several MCU films, including “Black Panther,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” The shift of those massive blockbusters to another platform was a striking loss for Netflix, and the streaming service is no doubt itching to once again beef up its selection of superhero content.
It’s unclear whether or not the Sony deal will immediately allow Netflix to stream the upcoming films “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” once they leave theaters. That’s because both are currently expected to be released later this year.
That said, if sequels for these films are announced and can be expected to find their way to Netflix, the streaming giant will be able to acquire the rights to the films’ full library of installments, according to Deadline. Such a deal also exists for Jumanji’s library of movies.
Sony’s Direct-to-Streaming Titles
Netflix will retain first-look rights to any of Sony’s potential direct-to-streaming titles, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it will acquire those films. Under that part of the deal, Sony still has the right to sell to other streaming platforms.
While Sony has said it’s considering “a number” of direct-to-streaming releases, as Deadline projected, “in reality [that’s] likely just a couple a year and a minority of the studio’s overall slate.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, however, “Netflix has committed to ordering an undisclosed number of those films.”
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Wall Street Journal) (IGN)
Regé-Jean Page Seemingly Reacts To Reports That He Was Not Cast as Superman’s Grandfather Because He Is Black
- A recent piece from The Hollywood Reporter claimed that actor Regé-Jean Page auditioned to play Superman’s grandfather in a DC series but was turned down after a DC executive said the superhero could not have a Black grandfather.
- Page seemingly responded to the article Wednesday, tweeting, “Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then. The clarifications almost hurt more tbh. Still just doing my thing. Still we do the work. We still fly.”
- A representative for the DC executive claimed the report was false and added that they went down a different path because “the lead was expected to invoke a young Henry Cavill.”
Regé-Jean Page Loses DC Role
“Bridgerton” breakout star Regé-Jean Page seemingly responded Wednesday to reports that he lost out on the role of Superman’s grandfather because he is Black.
This week, The Hollywood Reporter published an extensive piece about issues with executives, toxic behavior, and diversity at DC Films. One project discussed was “Krypton,” a series that follows Superman’s grandfather. Multiple sources told the outlet that “the show’s creators were passionate about doing some nontraditional casting.” Before the popular period drama shot him to stardom, Page auditioned for the role. However, those sources claimed that DC Films co-founder Geoff Johns said that “Superman could not have a Black grandfather.”
Johns also allegedly vetoed a proposal to make one of the superhero characters in the show gay.
The news caught the attention of many online, as Page has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors following the success of the Netflix hit “Bridgerton.” In the past several months alone, Page has hosted “Saturday Night Live,” been cast in upcoming blockbusters, and is even rumored to be a contender for the next James Bond.
Many were quick to slam DC for dismissing Page since nothing about superhero shows and films are realistic in the first place.
if we can suspend our disbelief when it comes to Superman, I’m sure we could buy @regejean as his grandfather.— niisha.xo🏒🇨🇦 #StopAsianHate (@niisha_xo) April 7, 2021
hate to break it to the exec but superheroes aren’t exactly realistic, bruv.
Page Addresses News
On Wednesday, Page seemed to address the controversy himself.
“Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then,” he wrote. “The clarifications almost hurt more tbh.
“Still just doing my thing. Still we do the work. We still fly.”
He got support from actors like Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in the “Justice League” films and has been open about his criticisms of executives at DC. In fact, The Hollywood Reporter‘s piece about the studio largely focused on Fisher and his experiences.
“I feel for you @regejean. If ever you need I’m around,” he tweeted. “Keep flying.”
DC Executive Denies Claims
A representative for Johns denied the allegations in The Hollywood Reporter report with a statement to E! News.
“Geoff never said Superman can’t have a Black ancestor or be Black—there have been diverse versions of Superman throughout the comics for decades so he does and can be diverse,” the representative said.
“However, the expectation for KRYPTON was that it would initially be perceived as a possible prequel to Man of Steel by the fans and the lead was expected to invoke a young Henry Cavill.”
The representative also said that the accusation that Johns did not let creators make a major character part of the LGBTQ community is “categorically false.”
See what others are saying: (E! News) (Los Angeles Times) (Entertainment Weekly)
Khloe Kardashian Sparks Conversation About Beauty Standards After Unapproved Bikini Photo Circulates Online
- Representatives for the Kardashian family are allegedly scrambling to scrub a bikini photo of Khloe from the internet after it quickly spread online over the past several days.
- Many social media users expressed confusion regarding Khloe’s alleged issue with the image, arguing that there is nothing wrong with how she looks in the photo, which is not nearly as excessively edited as most of the content she posts.
- A marketing officer for KKW Brands told Page Six the picture was taken “during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant,” adding that while Khloe looks “beautiful” in it, it is within her right to want it removed.
- The photo takedowns prompted many to accuse the Kardashian-Jenner family of perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards, though others defended them and said brutal body-shaming likely pressures them into highly editing their images.
Kardashian Team Works To Remove Unapproved Photo
Khloe Kardashian is reportedly pushing her team to remove a photo of her from the internet that was shared without her approval.
The photo shows Kardashian in a cheetah print bikini standing casually in front of a pool. After seeing it, many social media users argued that the image does not appear to be nearly as photoshopped or airbrushed as most of the other content she shares of herself.
Still, the reality star allegedly does not want the photo up. Tracy Romulus, the chief marketing officer for KKW Brands told Page Six that the picture was not authorized to be published.
“The color edited photo was taken of Khloé during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant,” Romulus said in a statement.
“Khloé looks beautiful but it is within the right of the copyright owner to not want an image not intended to be published taken down.”
According to Page Six, copies of the photo have been taken “under legal threats” from the Kardashian team. A source told the outlet that the photo had been lightly edited, but not to the degree most of Kardashian’s pictures are.
Fans Discuss Unrealistic Beauty Standards Promoted by The Kardashians
Kardashian was a trending topic on Twitter early Wednesday as many discussed the photo and the way the Kardashian-Jenner family has promoted unattainable beauty standards by posting heavily edited photos. Khloe, in particular, has been at the center of some of these conversations within the last year, as fans regularly say the photos she posts of herself always look different.
“This is the best she’s looked IMO!!!!” one person wrote in reference to the leaked photo. “Stop with the unrealistic beauty standards we know are fake!!!!! We’re sick of seeing them!!!!”
“The Kardashians have body shamed and endorsed diet products for years and I’m supposed to feel sorry for Khloe because a perfectly beautiful unedited pic got dropped on the internet?” one Twitter user said.
Another person said the photo served as a “stark reminder that social media is a complete lie.”
Some also went back to a photo Kardashian posted in January on Instagram. The image shows the side of her waist and upper legs covered in sand. While it does look as if the image was likely photoshopped, slight stretch marks can be seen on part of her body. She captioned the picture “I love my stripes.”
Now, people are calling her out in the comments of this post.
“Where’s the love for your real body that you’re trying to have scrubbed from the internet just because you look normal,” someone wrote. “Sad message to send when you’re claiming all this self love.”
Khloe’s History of Being Body Shamed
Others were more sympathetic and brought up the fact that Kardashian has been brutally body shamed by the public in the past, which is likely why she feels the need to airbrush her photos.
“It would be amazing if Khloe K could embrace that unedited image. But she was literally bullied her entire life for her body and looks,” one person wrote. “Held against the beauty standards of her sisters. You made her not be comfortable with her own body and face. YOU did this to her.
“People have called her the ugly one her entire life and now they’re shocked when she panics over an unedited photo? It’s so sad,” another person said.
“Any imperfection is a sincere threat to her well-being in her limbic brain and it’s not [her] fault cuz that threat is stemming from a very real place,” another Twitter user added.
Kardashian has not commented on the controversy yet herself.