Thursday, March 30, 2023

David Dobrik: YouTube Demonetizes Prank Video Star’s Channels

YouTube star David Dobrik has had his channels demonetized following a rape allegation about a former associate.

A woman alleges she was raped by a person during the filming of a video for Mr. Dobrik’s YouTube channel in 2018.

Mr. Dobrik, who has 19 million subscribers on his platform, has denied any wrongdoing.

YouTube said it had strict policies that prohibit sexual harassment on its channel.

“We take allegations of sexual assault very seriously,” the firm said in a statement.

It has temporarily suspended monetization for three channels operated by Dobrik – David Dobrik, David Dobrik Too, and Views, a video podcast co-hosted by Dobrik and Jason Nash.

The channel run by the man accused of rape was also removed.

Since the incident came to light after being reported to the business news website Insider, Mr. Dobrik has issued two apologies for his involvement.

“I platformed the subject of sexual assault in a negative way, where I made jokes about it and I reinforced that kind of behavior, and I’m so sorry,” he said.

The video – which does not explicitly show the alleged incident – was published on Mr. Dobrik’s channel, and later removed.

Several big brands, including DoorDash and EA Sports, have also cut ties with Mr. Dobrik and he announced he would step down from the board of photo app Dispo.

Mr. Dobrik rose to fame through making prank videos, sometimes in collaboration with YouTubers known as the Vlog Squad.

Plied with alcohol

In the account, published in Insider, a woman alleged she was raped during the filming of a Vlog Squad video in 2018.

She reportedly says she was given alcohol despite being under the legal age of 21 and became drunk to the point of unconsciousness.

Later, she said she was involved in group sex, which included a Vlog Squad member when she was too intoxicated to consent.

“While our client is appalled by any misconduct attributed to [the former member of the Vlog Squad], assuming it is true, my client denies any wrongdoing,” Mr. Dobrik’s lawyer told Insider.

“Consent is something that’s super, super-important to me,” Mr. Dobrik added via a recent video posted to one of his YouTube channels,

“Whether I am shooting with a friend or I am shooting with a stranger, I make sure whatever video I am putting out, I have the approval from that person.”

The accused former Vlog Squad member has not responded to requests for comment.

Police were not informed and no charges were filed against the alleged perpetrator, Insider said.