The YouTube microcosm has produced another major publicity scandal, and this time its subject is LA-based comedian and podcaster David Dobrik. Dobrik is at the center of a series of detailed sexual assault allegations.
This past month, a woman anonymously reported to have been raped by a member of Dobrik’s once-coveted Vlog Squad in 2018, and, since then, many more have come forward with similarly striking accusations.
The woman was allegedly raped by Squad member Dom Zeglaitis, who has his own YouTube channel with millions of young followers. Describing the incident, the woman says that she was severely intoxicated at the time of the assault, completely impeding her ability to consent to sexual intercourse with Zeglaitis.
She further describes how Dobrik filmed her entering the bedroom where the assault occurred before posting the footage on YouTube just a few days later.
Popular YouTuber and former Squad member Trisha Paytas, who has been vocal about the predatory environment surrounding the Vlog Squad since parting ways with Dobrik and his team in 2018, has backed the woman’s claims. She verified that most of the young women who were featured in Dobrik’s vlogs were intently supplied with hard liquor despite the fact that many of them were underage at the time.
Paytas upholds that Dobrik was privy to the predatory behavior rampant among the male members of his Squad despite his consistent denial of these claims, detailing how he indiscreetly manipulated the situations that put these young women at risk simply to create eye-grabbing content.
Zeglaitis, who’s unironically known on YouTube as “Durte Dom,” is a childhood friend of Dobrik’s. He was a popular mainstay in the now-infamous vlogs, his dramatis personae described by many as a misogynistic philanderer.
Zeglaitis was frequently featured in Dobrik’s channel and on other platforms groping young women and making unsolicited sexual advances towards them in since-deleted videos.
He has yet to comment on the allegations against him.
Dobrik has since made a video apologizing for his more peripheral role in the matter. In the video, he claimed to have been shocked and disturbed by the allegations made against his longtime friend Zeglaitis, whom he worked with intimately for a number of years.
The response on Dobrik’s apology video has been generally unsympathetic towards the disgraced YouTuber, who has stepped back from the spotlight as brands continue cutting ties with him.
Dobrik, whose charming awkwardness and childish humor made him a darling among the ranks of comedic entertainers, has been keeping a low profile since the allegations caught the social media world by storm. History has shown that disgraced YouTubers can manage to bounce back after facing charges of great gravity, but will Dobrik?