How the once-renowned “King of Youtube” fell to his demise and his disturbing work to desensitize sexual harassment. 

Renee Cheung

Staff Writer

TRIGGER WARNING: This article includes descriptions of sexual assault. Viewers’ discretion is advised. 

David Dobrik was once a small Viner who started his youtube channel in 2015. His content consists of small skits combined into a short vlog which would be published daily to his accord. These videos contained the now known “vlog squad” doing questionable pranks such as shooting paintball guns without protection or laying animals on a person while they were blindfolded. David would sometimes even give luxurious items to his friends such as sports cars, or large sums of money which would further entertain and impress his audience. 

Of course with the number of subscribers and views he was raking in, David saw the only way to become bigger was to create edgier, and sometimes very questionable content on his channel. Joseph Francois is a 26-year-old social media influencer when he was working with David to produce content under the vlog squad. David decided to create a prank that involved tricking Seth into kissing Karina Kopf (a member of the vlog squad) when in reality it was a 45-year-old man named Jason Nash he would be kissing. This prank was unfortunately executed successfully, and the entire vlog squad snickered and filmed, as an unsuspecting Seth passionately made out with one of his male friends. Seth is a straight man and was extremely shocked to find out the truth. He attempted to play along with David, but deep down he was extremely traumatized by the events that just happened. 

What makes it worse is that this prank was to solely target Seth because he came from Compton, California where homosexuality is heavily looked down upon. In David’s podcast called “Clips,” Dobrik repeatedly states how he knows Seth has a background that is rooted in a certain culture, so he purposely went after Seth to make the prank. After the video was posted, Seth felt so humiliated publicly that he had to move to Atlanta just to escape his trauma. 

This ludicrous prank was not just a one-time thing, but it happened twice. Dobrik created an entire fake company that would offer Seth a job to star in a beef jerky commercial. Seth’s role consisted of kissing with two female gorillas in bed. When he was not looking, one of the female gorillas was replaced by none other than Jason Nash who was also dressed up as a gorilla. After passionately kissing Nash for more than thirty seconds, Nash revealed himself to Seth, who was utterly horrified. There were allegations that Seth was specifically assigned to kiss gorillas because it was once used as a negative slur and stereotype against African Americans.

No one considered these pranks to be a big deal until these videos resurfaced back in 2021. Trisha Paytas had repeatedly stated that the Vlog Squad is completely corrupt and even brings up the pranks that deeply offended Seth. David soon asked one of his friends, Scotty Sire to make a video to discuss the recent accusations. In the video, Scotty repeatedly shamed Seth, stating that he was a liar, and it was just “boys being boys” and it was all for the fun of the vlog. After a huge wave of backlash, Sire has since deleted his video and restrained himself from further comments. 

This is the problem with modern society and the double standards of sexual harassment. When men like Seth say they feel violated after such a horrendous prank, Dobrik’s audience will resort to calling Seth a liar and that he is “simply making things up” to try and “gain clout.” Especially since David is an extremely famous YouTuber and a very powerful man in general, it is very easy for him to get away with things like sexually violating his “friends” to gain content for his channel. Men have already been told by society that they are “masculine gender” and conveying emotions are to be immediately interpreted as a form of weakness. We already live in a world where many people believe that men cannot be sexually violated, so for those like David to knowingly take advantage of someone makes this case exponentially disturbing.

You can read more about Seth’s situation with these articles listed below:

BuzzFeed

H3 Podcast

The Wrap

People

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