David Dobrik Takes Social Media Break Following Rape Allegations
23 March 2021
David Dobrik has posted a second, tearful video addressing the swirl of sexual misconduct allegations against him and the Vlog Squad collective, chiefly that Dobrik was complicit in the alleged rape of an anonymous extra by ex-Vlog Squad member Durte Dom, real name Dominykas Zeglaitis.
Earlier this month the extra, who appeared in a Vlog Squad prank-style video which has since been deleted from Dobrik's channel, told Insider that she was too intoxicated to consent to sex during filming of the clip back in 2018. The alleged rape was not shown in the video, but it was edited to portray the woman as consenting to a sexual act.
The woman, who was 20 years old at the time of the alleged assault and plied with alcohol, says she was coerced into group sex despite being at the point of unconsciousness. The video was viewed more than five million times before the woman succeeded in getting it taken down from YouTube.
Since the allegations came to light, Dobrik has lost numerous branding and investment deals, and issued one vague apology video that didn't directly address the alleged rape.
In the new video uploaded last night, he went into more detail, admitting he could have done far more to protect cast members and extras in past Vlog Squad videos. Notably, he said he "fully believes" the woman who is accusing Zeglaitis of rape. He also admits the video should never have been posted in the first place.
Dobrik claims that at the time of posting back in 2018, he'd received permission from the women and the group of her friends who were also featured as extras in the video to upload the clip to his channel. "I got consent to post the video," he said. "Even though I got the consent to post that video, I should have never posted it... What I understand now, and I didn't understand before, is that she [gave consent] because she felt like she had to. Not because she wanted to. And that's fucked up, and I'm sorry."
Dobrik and the Vlog Squad are some of the biggest celebrities on YouTube, and Dobrik admitted that this can often create an unfair power dynamic between them and more unknown creators.
"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," he said.
Dobrik stopped making videos with Zeglaitis, a childhood friend, in 2019. He said he would be taking further steps to institute a system of accountability when making videos going forward, and that he might be taking a "short break" from social media in order to implement these systems.
Watch the whole video, below.
Screenshot via YouTube