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David Dobrik Said He’s “So Sorry” In A Second Video Addressing Vlog Squad Sexual Assault Allegations

“I was completely disconnected from the fact that, when people were invited to film videos with us, I was creating an unfair power dynamic.”

Posted on March 23, 2021, at 10:39 a.m. ET

David Dobrik posted a second video early Tuesday morning addressing allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the Vlog Squad, his YouTube content collective.

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On March 16, Business Insider published an investigation alleging that former Vlog Squad member Dom Zeglaitis had raped a woman during filming for one of Dobrik’s vlogs.

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

The woman, who remained anonymous, said she was filmed by Dobrik entering a bedroom with Zeglaitis. She told Insider she was too drunk to give consent at the time and drank so much alcohol on the night of the incident that she “blacked out.”

The clip was reportedly included in a video uploaded to Dobrik’s YouTube channel a few days after the alleged incident, in late 2018, and was later deleted at the woman’s request.

Separately, in February, former Vlog Squad member Joseth Francois — known as Seth — told BuzzFeed News he had been sexually assaulted while filming one of Dobrik’s “prank” videos, during which Dobrik tricked him into making out with fellow Vlog Squad member Jason Nash by telling him Nash was a woman wearing a disguise.

In a video posted to his podcast channel on March 17, Dobrik said he had “distanced himself” from several friends who had “disappointed” him, and swore he “doesn’t stand for any kind of misconduct.”

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“Consent is something that’s super, super important to me,” Dobrik said in the video. “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 later, “With people in my life that I don’t film with anymore — like Dom and the other people I no longer film with — I chose to distance myself because I don’t align with some of the actions, and I don’t stand for any kind of misconduct.”

“I’ve been really disappointed by some of my friends,” he added. “And for that reason, I’ve separated from a lot of them.”

He also apologized directly to Seth Francois, saying the particular video he was involved in “missed the mark.”

In the days that followed the allegations and Dobrik’s first response video, several brands and investors — including HelloFresh, DoorDash, and EA Sports — pulled sponsorships and severed ties with Dobrik and the Vlog Squad, condemning their alleged actions and saying they would not work with them again.

On Tuesday, in a second apology video, Dobrik addressed the allegations more explicitly, admitting to being “completely disconnected” from the unfair power dynamic his channel created for those involved in its videos.

Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

The 24-year-old began the video by saying he “fully believes” the woman who accused Dom Zeglaitis of rape, and said he “should never have posted” the video in question.

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“As was reported, the next day, I got consent to post the video,” Dobrik explained. “Even though I got the consent to post that video, I should have never posted it.”

He continued, “What I understand now, and I didn’t understand before, is that she [gave consent to post the video] because she felt like she had to. Not because she wanted to. And that’s fucked up, and I’m sorry.”

“I want to 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,” Dobrik said. “I am so sorry.”

Dobrik went on to say the situation had caused him to recognize the “unfair power dynamic” between him and the people involved in making content for his channel.

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“I was completely disconnected from the fact that, when people were invited to film videos with us — especially videos that relied on shock for views or whatever it was — that I was creating an unfair power dynamic,” Dobrik said. “I did not know this before.”

“It was completely wrong,” he added. “I wish I was more responsible, and I wish I was more aware at the time, and I’m so sorry I missed that.”

“People felt like they had to be silent for the sake of my video,” Dobrik went on. “And that’s not right, and it’s fucked up, and I’m sorry.”

Later in the video, Dobrik said he had made the conscious decision to make more positive content in 2019 — when he stopped filming with Zeglaitis — but admitted that in doing so, he had failed to make amends for his past mistakes.

“It breaks my heart, knowing I was doing all this stuff and making all this content while there was people that were still really hurt by what I made [before],” Dobrik said.

“Before my content shifted to be more responsible and positive, I said and did things that were really offensive, and I called them bad jokes,” he continued. “I can’t even call them bad jokes, and it was cowardly of me to say in my last apology that I missed the mark. Because it’s fucking gross. And I’m sorry.”

And he concluded the video by saying he “might take a short break” from social media in order to develop a system of “checks and balances” to hold him accountable for any potentially harmful actions.

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“I’ve realized there’s a serious lack of infrastructure when I make any kind of content,” Dobrik explained. “I want to be able to have a place of checks and balances; I want to have HR, and I want to be able to have people communicate discomfort in a way that's comfortable to them. Where they don’t feel like their emotions, or what they’re doing, or how they’re acting is compromised.”

“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,” he said. “But I think it is important to show that change is possible, and that I’m learning. And maybe even forgiveness is possible.”

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.