• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

David Dobrik Announces Break From Social Media in New Apology Video

Samantha Schnurr
·6 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Amid allegations about some of his past videos, David Dobrik has issued a new apology and announced he's briefly stepping away from social media.

"I'm gonna take a short break from all this social media stuff because I realize there's a serious lack of infrastructure when I make any kind of content and I wanna be able to have a place of checks and balances, I wanna have HR and I wanna be able to have people communicate discomfort in a way that's comfortable to them and where they don't feel like their emotions or what they're doing or how they're acting is compromised," he told viewers in a YouTube video posted early March 23.

Dobrik continued, "It doesn't feel right to go back to posting like I have been and it also doesn't feel right to go dark because I love what I do, but I think it is important to show that change is possible and that I'm learning and maybe even forgiveness is possible. I want to use this opportunity to step up and own my mistakes."

In his new video, during which he spoke into the camera for more than seven minutes, the 24-year-old YouTube star criticized the previous video message he shared on March 16. "I've put myself in a lot of situations where I have needed to apologize for my past actions and I have never done this correctly and I've never done this respectfully and my last video is a testament to that," he said. "I don't want to defend that video, I don't want to delete that video. I just wanna be clear."

Forbes' Highest-Paid YouTube Stars of 2020

Dobrik also addressed the allegation made by a woman to Business Insider about former Vlog Squad member Dominykas Zeglaitis. The woman, who was called by the pseudonym Hannah, alleged to the website that in 2018 while a 20-year-old college student, she and Zeglaitis had a sexual encounter.

According to the report, citing phone interviews with Hannah, she was allegedly incapacitated by alcohol, which she claimed members of the Vlog Squad provided to her and her friends, and could not consent. According to Business Insider, Dobrik allegedly filmed Hannah at Zeglaitis' apartment and as she entered his bedroom. Per the report, he allegedly later uploaded a "SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE PLAYED WITH FIRE!!" vlog that amassed 5 million views before it was deleted at her request.

David Dobrik
David Dobrik

Zeglaitis declined to comment to Business Insider about the allegations. E! News reached out to Zeglaitis for comment on March 16 and has not heard back.

"I want to start this video off by saying I fully believe the woman who came out against Dom...As it was reported, the next day, I got consent to post the video. Even though I got the consent to post that video, I should have never posted it," Dobrik said in his new video. "What I understand now and I didn't understand before is that she sent that text because she felt like she had to, not because she wanted to and that's f--ked up and I'm sorry. When she later reached out a couple months later to take that video down, I immediately took it down and I wanna apologize to her and her friends for ever putting them in an environment that I enabled that made them feel like their safety and values were compromised. I'm so sorry."

YouTube's Biggest Scandals

"I was completely disconnected from the fact that when people were invited to film videos with us," he continued, "especially videos that relied on shock for views or whatever it was, that I was creating an unfair power dynamic. I did not know this before. It was completely wrong and I wish I was more responsible and I wish was more aware at the time and I'm so sorry I missed that. I was more aware at the time."

"I didn't know what was going on in that room," he added, "and I should've been, I should've been there and I should've been making sure that everybody involved was taken care of and wasn't uncomfortable."

Dobrik went on to apologize to other women who have addressed alleged problems with Zeglaitis publicly or privately. "I'm sorry I didn't listen to you guys. I am sorry that I took Dom's word for what happened in those certain situations that I didn't believe you," he said, "and not only did I not believe you, but I made a joke of what kind of a person Dom was because I couldn't wrap my head around a childhood friend of mine doing this to people and actually hurting people and I'm sorry for that."

Addressing Ally Hardesty, who accused Zeglaitis of sexual assault in 2017, Dobrik said, "Not only did I discredit you, Ally, but I platformed Dom and not only did I platform Dom, but 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 and I really let not only you down, but a lot of people down."

Following Hardesty's public allegation four years ago, Zeglaitis issued a brief video.

"The accusations against me aren't 100 percent true," he said in his own 2017 video, "but to an extent they are. I am aggressive when talking to women, I will say that. There's a difference between being forward and persistence and what I was doing was too intense and now I'm working on that."

E! News has reached out to Zeglaitis for comment regarding Hardesty's allegation and has not heard back. E! News has also spoken with a friend Hardesty said was with her on the night of the alleged assault who told E! News "everything she said is true."

As for Dobrik, he concluded his new message by one again acknowledging his own errors. "With this situation, there's a lot I can look at and there's a lot I can learn from, but there's a lot of mistakes that I made and I'm sorry for that," he said. "I'm sorry for everybody I've let down. I'm sorry to my family and I'm sorry to my friends that I've embarrassed and that this won't happen again." He noted he's making himself available to "anyone that wants to reach out that I've hurt in the past" and that he'll also be reaching out on his own to some people.

For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.