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

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

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."


Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


How Real-Time Data Is Helping Physicians Track Their Patients, One Heartbeat at a Time

S.C. Stuart
S.C. Stuart is a foreign correspondent (ELLE China, Esquire Latin America), Contributing Writer at Ziff Davis PCMag, and consults as a futurist for Hollywood Studios. Previously, S.C. was the head of digital at Hearst Magazines International while serving as a Non-Executive Director, UK Trade & Investment (US) and Digital Advisor at The Smithsonian.
How Real-Time Data Is Helping Physicians Track Their Patients, One Heartbeat at a Time

Are you a human node on a health-based digital network?

According to research from Insider Intelligence, the U.S. smart wearable user market is poised to grow 25.5% in 2023. Which is to say, there are an increasing number of Angelenos walking around this city whose vital signs can be tracked day and night via their doctor's digital device. If you've signed up to a health-based portal via a workplace insurance scheme, or through a primary care provider's portal which utilizes Google Fit, you’re one of them.

Do you know your baseline health status and resting heartbeat? Can you track your pulse, and take your own blood pressure? Have you received genetic counseling based on the sequencing of your genome? Do you avoid dairy because it bloats, or because you know you possess the variant that indicates lactose intolerance?

Read moreShow less

Who Will Win LA's E-scooter Wars?

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
Who Will Win LA's E-scooter Wars?
Evan Xie

Los Angeles — it’s not just beautiful weather, traffic and the Hollywood Walk of Fame — it’s also the largest shared micromobility market in the U.S. with six operators permitted to deploy up to 6,000 vehicles each.

And despite the open market policy, the competition shows no signs of slowing down.

Read moreShow less