- 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)
Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player To Come Out as Gay
While making his announcement, the athlete also pledged a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
Nassib Comes Out
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, made history on Monday as the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in an Instagram video, along with a longer written statement.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for,” he said in the post.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he continued.
“I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project.”
He also noted that he was thankful for the support from his NFL coaches and fellow players. “From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he wrote.
Praise From Sports Community
Nassib’s announcement was met with praise from his team on social media, as well as other athletes and the NFL itself.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on behalf of the league, saying that it “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth.”
Several football fans and commentators, including sports reporter Jemele Hill, also pointed to the potential impact his bravery could have.
“Carl Nassib likely isn’t the only active gay player in the NFL, but him coming forward will be huge for those who haven’t gotten there yet,” HIll tweeted. “Very courageous decision that will not only help other players but so many young people in this country.”
See what others are saying:(ESPN)(The New York Times)(NBC News)
Billie Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Racist Slur in Old Clip
Eilish said she is “appalled and embarrassed” to have mouthed along to a song containing the term, which she did not know was a slur at the time.
Video Shows Billie Eilish Using Slur
Singer Billie Eilish apologized Monday night for mouthing an anti-Asian racial slur in an old video that recently resurfaced on social media.
The clip was featured in a compilation that went viral on TikTok. In it, she was mouthing along to the song “Fish” by Tyler the Creator, which contains the slur. The compilation also showed her speaking in a voice that many interpreted as her mocking foreign accents or languages.
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this,” Eilish wrote on her Instagram story. “And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”
Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Term
The “Bad Guy” singer said she was 13 or 14 at the time the video was taken, and claimed she had no idea the word was a derogatory term at the time.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” Eilish wrote. “This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
Regarding accusations that she mocked foreign accents and languages, the singer said she was speaking a “silly gibberish” that she made up as a child and uses around her pets, family, and friends in a joking manner.
“It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST,” she added. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
“Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” she continued.
The Grammy Award-winner said that she wants to use her platform to promote “inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality.” She closed her statement by telling her followers that it is important for people to listen and learn when it comes to conversations about these subjects.
Read her full apology below.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (Complex) (The Guardian)
Chrissy Teigen’s Team Says Direct Messages Shared by Michael Costello Were Fake
Teigen’s team accused the designer of faking the screenshots a day after a report from Insider found several “technical inconsistencies” in the photos.
Chrissy Teigen Accused of Bullying Michael Costello
Model Chrissy Teigen released a statement from her team on Friday denying the authenticity of screenshots designer Michael Costello shared last week depicting Teigen bullying him and threatening his career.
Costello’s claims against Teigen came just after she apologized for past offensive social media remarks she made. Those remarks included hateful comments directed at then-16-year-old Courtney Stodden, who received an onslaught of negative press for marrying a 51-year-old man a decade ago. Hours after posting her apology, Costello said he, too, was a victim of Teigen’s online persecution in 2014.
Costello wrote that Teigen attacked him online when a screenshot allegedly showing him making a racist comment was circulating. He claims that the screenshot was fake, but even after he told Teigen this, he alleges that she and her stylist Monica Rose continued to berate him and threaten his career. In his post, he said this drove him to have suicidal thoughts.
He also shared alleged screenshots of direct messages that depicted Teigen telling him his career was dead and that he deserves to “suffer and die.” His post ignited a swift round of backlash and outrage against Teigen and caught the attention of several major news outlets.
Investigations Finds That the Screenshots Were Faked
A Thursday report from Insider alleged that those conversations had been doctored. The investigation found “technical inconsistencies in the purported DMs that could suggest they are manipulated.”
“Several visual identifiers in the images appear to come from various iterations of Instagram and Teigen’s profile throughout the years, which is oftentimes a signature of manipulated imagery,” the article continued.
According to Insider, the screenshot looks like it was taken in 2014, as Teigen did not have a verified check, a status she received early in 2015. However, the message backgrounds in the image have a purple and blue gradient, which did not exist in Instagram until 2020. There is also a video chat icon on top of their chat, a feature that was not introduced until 2018. The photo that appears for Teigen is also her profile picture from 2014. If Costello had gone back and taken that screenshot recently, her current profile picture would have been visible instead of her old one, and again, her verification would be visible.
Teigen shot back on social media Friday, sharing a statement that addressed the inconsistencies noted in the Insider article. The statement, which was written on Teigen’s behalf, also claimed that in early iterations of the screenshots, Teigen’s name had been spelled incorrectly.
“Chrissy is completely surprised and disappointed by Michael Costello’s recent attack, which includes fictional ‘screenshots’ from 2014 of supposed private messages that Chrissy did not send,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Teigen did comment on one of Costello’s posts in 2014 after he was accused of making a racist remark, but she deleted that comment upon learning that the remark was photoshopped. It also claims that Teigen did not work with Rose until 2016, two years after Costello claims he was victimized by her.
Teigen went on to share screenshots of messages the two had exchanged online, which were largely complementary. In one message, Costello praises her lipstick choice. In another, he admires a meal she cooked. Teigen claimed she was under the impression she had a cordial relationship with him.
“Chrissy has acknowledged her past behavior and the pain she has caused but will not stand for anyone spreading false accusations to further demean her name and reputation,” the statement continued. “Chrissy will continue to do the work she needs to do to be the best person she can be. She hopes Michael Costello can do the same.”
“Chrissy has every right to correct the record and defend her name. She is not interested in making Mr. Costello the target of harassment or abuse for anyone claiming to support her.”
Teigen’s husband, singer John Legend, also defended her, saying he had no idea why someone would insert themselves into an already complicated narrative.
“I encourage everyone who breathlessly spread this lie to keep that same energy when they correct the record,” he wrote.
Costello Doubles Down
Since he came out against Teigen, several people have accused Costello of misconduct. A makeup artist who was undergoing chemotherapy said he was sexually harassed by Costello, singer Leona Lewis said he body-shamed her, and a woman who sold him something online said he called her the n-word.
Costello has deleted his original post accusing Teigen of bullying him, which included the allegedly doctored screenshots, though he doubled down on his claim that Teigen tried to ruin his career in a post shared Friday.
“The fact that Chrissy Tiegen and her crisis team are working so hard, so strategically, to come out against the DMs she sent me, and to downplay the comments she publicly posted on my Instagram, only proves that she is the same bully she always has been, despite her fake apology to the public,” he wrote.
He said this will be the last time he speaks on the issue and announced that he is taking a break from social media to aid his mental health.