If you were to ask a tween or teen who their favorite YouTuber and influencer was, chances are they would name David Dobrik at the top of that list. Known for his four-minute vlogs and over-the-top content Dobrik has risen to fame and is arguably one of the most popular figures on YouTube with over 18 million subscribers. But the Youtube star has recently come under fire after a past member of his content creator group, Dominykas Zeglaitis (also known as Durte Dom) allegedly raped a woman in a since-deleted video Dobrik shared online.
As first reported by Insider, the woman, whose real name is omitted and instead referred to as “Hannah” throughout the piece, claimed that in 2018 she was intoxicated and was later filmed by Dobrik as she entered Zeglaitis’ bedroom where she was involved in a threesome.
“It was very much an environment where it felt like saying ‘no’ was not OK,” Hannah told the outlet. “It felt like from the moment we came, there was an expectation that they were doing us a favor and we had to give them content. They were verbally, like, ‘Why aren’t you guys being fun? Do something sort of sexy.’”
Hannah said that at the time members of Dobrik’s group the “Vlog Squad” bought her and her friends alcohol since they were under the legal drinking age. Hannah told the outlet that she was too drunk to give consent to what occurred that night and described her rape. Later in the night, she shared that she eventually blacked out.
Dobrik has since released a second apology video admitting to his involvement in the night in question. Speaking to the outlet, Hannah revealed that months later, she requested the video be removed after it was uploaded, although it had unfortunately already garnered 5 million views.
In his latest video, he acknowledged that he missed “the mark” on his first apology — which was widely criticized by many online. He went on to say he fully believes the “woman who came out against Dom and said she was sexually assaulted and raped by him” and that he “should have never posted” the clip of her on his channel.
“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 the 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.”
Dobrik is an example of the importance of monitoring what your child watches on YouTube as well as other social media outlets, and how rape culture continues to be normalized for the sake of entertainment. Click-bait-driven content that highlights scandalous stories and pushes moral and ethical boundaries for views isn’t a new concept — but the amount of people willing to cross that line is only increasing when it comes to reaching fame on platforms like YouTube.