David Dobrik’s Illegal Scandal

Abby Bozek

*TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE*

 

The David Dobrik Drama — can it even be called drama, considering it’s a crime? No, I will not be discussing the situation around Seth or Big Nick, but I will be discussing the situation with the girls and Dom. If you are unaware of who David Dobrik is, he’s a 24-year old vlogger on Youtube who has 18.6 million followers on his main channel (he has a second channel as well as a podcast channel as well). He has a group of friends with whom he films with and they’re commonly known as the “Vlog Squad”. So, what did this group of young adults do that is taking the internet by storm? 

 

A few years ago Dobrik posted a vlog — it hosted its normal group of individuals: Todd, Jason, Trisha, Dom, Jonah, Jeff, Scotty, etc. But as well as this, Dom brought a group of girls over the age of 18 but under the age of 21 in an attempt to have relations with. These girls stated that they didn’t want to do this and that they were just there to meet Dobrik. Despite this, Dobrik ordered someone to purchase alcohol in order to get the girls in an easier state to not refuse unwanted acts. At this time Trisha, who has a following out with the group, left alongside her then-boyfriend Jason as she knew it wasn’t going anywhere good. Todd and Jeff went out to buy the alcohol and came back with some (despite this, it is unclear who specifically purchased it). The group of boys got the girls intoxicated, to the point where some couldn’t walk, and Dom participated in relations with one or two of the intoxicated girls. Dobrik filmed the entire thing, and the following editing posted it onto his channel. 

 

So what’s the big issue? What occurred that night is the definition of rape. The fact that it was filmed, laughed about, and kept up for 3-6 months by Dobrik is worse than I can describe with words (it was deleted at the victim’s request). Five million people saw the video. Though it occurred years ago, it is just now being talked about due to an Insider article that gave light to the situation. This Insider article will be linked at the end of this article as it can give a better look into the situation, as this is a school website and I cannot say everything. The female who came forward through the Insider article wishes to remain anonymous, and rightfully so. Her rape was filmed and joked about online for 18 million impressionable young fans to view. This act was normalized as something that just happens, and it normalizes it for young generations that don’t understand this to be a ruthless crime. 

 

For one to two weeks, Dobrik remained silent on the situation. His friend Scotty released a video in which he said the girl responded to Dom who wanted these acts and said she consented because of this. He said that Dobrik would never participate in something like this, and it’s unbelievable. After this video received backlash it was taken down. As well as this, Jeff released a video. He was attempting to say that he was only there for 15 minutes, and did not buy the alcohol for the girls. It is still unclear who necessarily bought the alcohol, but he and Todd were the ones (according to witnesses) who came back with alcohol. As well as this, it is proven via pictures and timestamps, as well as the video itself, that he was there for at least two hours. He attempted to discredit the article in his video, saying that since you have to pay for Insider (a paywall) the writer had a motive to hyperbolize the situation. This is obviously outlandish — every website has a paywall (look at the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc.) What makes this video comical in retrospect is that he didn’t even read the article. Despite all his efforts, he is still under fire. 

 

Another problem with this is the environment Dobrik is creating. People in his vlogs feel as if they can’t say no, because if they don’t they might not get featured or ruin the vlog. These girls, despite saying no, felt as if they eventually had to. The superiority Dobrik has in comparison to other people makes for a toxic environment and one that has resulted in crimes as gruesome as this one. 

 

Dobrik posted an apology video the other day, yet he never admitted fault as said he receives consent for every video he posts. Despite the girl saying yes to posting the video the next day, does that really mean it’s the right thing to do? No. Recognize it as rape, and that you should not post a video condoning it to your large audience. As well as this he posted it on his podcast channel, which only has 1 million followers. Why would you post your apology to your least followed platform? Oh, because you don’t want anyone to see it. 

 

Following the reaction to this video, Dobrik released a new apology video yesterday. He admitted fault, recognized what he did wrong, stood with the victims, and said he is no longer going to associate himself with Dom. He will also be taking a break from the internet. If this video came a week ago, I feel as if it would have been received better. But seeing as he was silent until he started losing about 13 sponsors (the biggest to note SeatGeat, as well as separating himself from his app Dispos), it is a hard video to watch and accept. 

 

So where is this now? It will be interesting to see if charges are pressed against Dom, as well as the rest of the people present in this vlog. It’s important to note these aren’t the only sexual assault allegation against Dom. He was given a platform to perform these acts, and as he was associated with Dobrik he was given an out from all of these. If the so-loved Dobrik is fine with Dom doing these things, his young fans would be too. As for now, de-platforming of Dom should certainly occur as well as criminal charges. As for now, he walks free. 

 

Due to the speed of the story, I’m sure there will be more developments soon and I will be sure to cover them. I will link the Insider article below, as well as a link to donate to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. What you can do is donate, not support the Vlog Squad, and continue on with your day. 

 

1-800-656-4673 (SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE)

https://www.nsvrc.org/donate      (DONATE)

https://www.insider.com/vlog-squad-durte-dom-rape-allegation-david-dobrik-zeglaitis-video-2021-3  (INSIDER ARTICLE)