David Dobrik Loses Sponsors After Sexual Assault Allegation Against Vlog Squad Member

David Dobrik Loses Sponsors After Sexual Assault Allegation Against Vlog Squad Member

At least two companies have dropped their partnerships with YouTuber and Dispo co-founder David Dobrik in response to an investigation from Business Insider detailing allegations of sexual assault against a former member of the group Vlog Squad.

The crew propelled YouTuber Dobrik to Internet fame and helped him launch photo-sharing app Dispo, which last month raised $20 million in a Series A round led by Spark Capital. The venture capital firm headquartered in Boston could not immediately be reached for comment. Last October, Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian's fund Seven Seven Six led a $4 million round.

But HelloFresh, a sponsor of Dobrik, confirmed to dot.LA that it is no longer working with Dobrik and or any member of the Vlog Squad. A spokesperson said by email the company does "not have any plans to work with them again in the future."

The Dollar Shave Club ended its partnership with Dobrik, who has promoted the Venice-based razor and shaving company on his Instagram, Insider reported. On Tuesday, SeatGeek, a ticket-selling platform, also told the outlet it was "reviewing" its partnership with Dobrik.

Earlier this week, Business Insider published a lengthy investigation by Kat Tenbarge in which a woman accused Vlog Squad member Dominykas Zeglaitis of sexually assaulting her while she was incapacitated by alcohol and could no longer consent.

A few days after the alleged assault, Dobrik uploaded a video titled "SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!" which includes clips of the woman entering Zeglaitis' bedroom. The woman confirmed the story to the New York Times in a story published Friday afternoon.

On Tuesday, Dobrik posted an apology on YouTube called "Let's talk." Dobrik does not directly address the rape allegation. But he said, "consent is something that's super, super important to me."

"Things like that won't happen again," he said. "I've learned from my mistakes and I also believe that actions speak a lot louder than words."

Let's talk

"With people in my life that I don't film with anymore, like Dom [Zeglaitis] ...I chose to distance myself because I don't align with some of the actions and I don't stand for any misconduct. I've been really disappointed by some of my friends."

The two-and-a- half minute video was posted on a YouTube channel that has 1.69 million followers that he shares with Jason Nash. The comments feature, which is usually open, was disabled.

During the video, Dobrik said he was "sorry" to Vlog Squad member Joseth "Seth" Francois. Last month, Francois told BuzzFeed News he was sexually assaulted during one of the squad's "prank" videos. Francois, the only Black member of the squad, said he was also "used as the punchline for racist jokes."

"I just want to make videos where everybody in it- whether you're participating or watching- is enjoying and having a good time," Dobrik said in his video. "And I missed the mark with that one."

Francois told BuzzFeed that people who spoke out were sidelined.

"It was an unwritten thing where you see a pattern of people saying, 'Yo, I'm uncomfortable with this,'" he told BuzzFeed. "All of a sudden they disappear and they're not in videos anymore."


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Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake


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