YouTube star David Dobrik apologizes amid misconduct allegations: 'I'm sorry I didn't listen'

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Brands like Hello Fresh and DoorDash have severed ties with YouTube star David Dobrik following multiple allegations of misconduct against him and his fellow Vlog Squad creators. And now he's apologizing for mishandling the accusations.

The vlogger, who's been called "Gen Z's Jimmy Fallon," first skyrocketed to fame thanks to Vine and later parlayed his success from the now-defunct app to YouTube, where he boasts over 29 million subscribers across multiple channels. Dobrik has also appeared on NBC's The Tonight Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and voiced a character in The Angry Birds Movie 2.

On YouTube, Dobrik posts vlogs depicting his day-to-day-life with his Vlog Squad friends, mixed in with larger-than-life antics. His fans span from kids to young adults, and he was generally perceived as unproblematic by many viewers.

But a lot of that perception changed following recent allegations. An Insider piece from March 16 detailed accusations against members of the Vlog Squad, including an allegation of rape against Dominykas Zeglaitis, a.k.a. Durte Dom to Dobrik's viewers.

The woman told Insider that she was raped during the filming of a 2018 video posted to Dobrik's channel, after she was supplied alcohol by Vlog Squad members and blacked out from intoxication. She said she was then involved in group sex with Zeglaitis that she couldn't consent to.

After the article came out, companies like DoorDash, Dollar Shave Club, EA Sports, Hello Fresh, SeatGeek, and more have stopped working with Dobrik, the Washington Post reported.

The YouTuber also announced he would step down from the board of Dispo, and an early investor in the photo-sharing app also said it was severing ties with the company.

"In light of recent news about the Vlog Squad and David Dobrik, the cofounder of Dispo, we have made the decision to sever all ties with the company," Sparks Capital wrote on Twitter. "We have stepped down from our position on the board and we are in the process of making arrangements to ensure we do not profit from our recent investment in Dispo."

Dobrik released a video early Tuesday morning in which he said he "fully believes the woman who came out against Dom and said she was sexually assaulted and raped by him."

"Even though I got the consent to post that video, I should have never posted it," he said. "And 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 is f---ed up and I'm sorry."

He further apologized for putting the woman and her friends in an environment "that made them feel like their safety and their values were comprised."

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

Dobrik then addressed previous accusations made against Zeglaitis.

YouTuber Ally Hardesty accused Zeglaitis of groping her and forcefully kissing her at a party in 2017. Dobrik, in his video, mentioned there were "other girls that addressed their problems [with Zeglaitis] privately or publicly" and he didn't believe them at the time.

"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 and I didn't believe you," Dobrik said. "And not only did I not believe you, but I made a joke of what kind of person Dom was because I couldn't wrap my head around a childhood friend of mine doing this to people and actually hurting people."

Dobrik said he hasn't filmed videos with Zeglaitis since 2019 but considers how he handled the accusations, by not reaching out to the accusers and apologizing, to be "f---ing gross." He mentioned he wouldn't be "going dark" on YouTube, but that he could be taking "a short break from the all the social media stuff."

"When there is a crisis, there is a serious opportunity to correct yourself, to learn and improve and to make sure those mistakes don't happen again," he said. "And that's why it's so important to hold yourself accountable."

In a video posted the same day the Insider piece debuted, Dobrik had addressed another accusation against him from former Vlog Squad member Joseth "Seth" Francois, who told BuzzFeed News in February that he was sexually assaulted in one of Dobrik's videos from 2017. The video, titled "HE THOUGHT HE WAS KISSING HER!! (SUPER CRINGEY)," showed Dobrik tricking Francois into kissing Vlog Squad member Jason Nash.

Dobrik said he takes down videos at the request of anyone shown in it.

"Consent is something that's super, super important to me. Whether I'm shooting with a friend or shooting with a stranger, I always make sure that whatever the video I'm putting out, I have the approval from that person," he said. "There have also been moments where I've looked back on videos and realized that these don't represent me anymore, and they're hurtful to other people, and I don't want them up because I've grown as a content creator and as a person."

"I've been really disappointed by some of my friends and, for that reason, I've separated from a lot of them," he added.

Zeglaitis uploaded a video on March 9 "addressing the drama" with the Vlog Squad, but didn't address his accuser's claims, which Insider said the woman previously messaged him about.

Representatives for Dobrik and Zeglaitis didn't immediately respond to EW's requests for comment.

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