Controversial YouTuber David Dobrik is under fire for a sketch that a participant is now calling a sexual assault, and for seeming to brag about it after the fact. Dobrik's "Vlog Squad" has had a rotating cast of YouTube pranksters and provocateurs over the years, including Seth Francois. Earlier this month, Francois spoke out about the prank that led him to leave the Vlog Squad and left him "traumatized."
Francois appeared on H3 After Dark, one of the podcasts by H3H3's Ethan Klein. He talked about a prank where Dobrik tricked him into making out with Jason Nash — a 47-year-old comedian often used as the punchline in Dobrik's gags. The video is now gone from the internet, but Dobrik described it in his own words in a clip from the Views podcast, which is now going viral.
David’s MCN is trying to remove this clip from the internet. This is straight up sexual assault and he did it to him twice. Absolutely infuriating to hear him talk about it so joyously knowing the trauma it caused Seth. pic.twitter.com/bXdpYvJFlp— Ethan Klein (@h3h3productions) February 27, 2021
"What Seth didn't know was that I replaced Corina with Jason," Dobrik said, his voice cracking with laughter. "His friends are probably going to chew him out for that for the next three, five years of his life." Nash added: "Well, as Seth tells it, homosexuality is not so accepted where he comes from," and Dobrik said: "Seth's from Compton. It's literally the perfect set-up, like a guy from Compton, and I made him make out with another, older man."
Klein shared the clip on Twitter, claiming that it was recorded after Francois had left the Vlog Squad and spoken out about how much the experience traumatized him. He also claimed that Dobrik was trying to find and delete all evidence of the prank, including that podcast.
This was just one of the incidents that Francois said made him feel like the "punching bag" of Dobrik and his fellow pranksters. He said that he was constantly pressured into making racially insensitive content during his time on the Vlog Squad, with no consideration for his own feelings or sensibilities.
"I was touched by someone I did not consent to," he said of Nash. "When I was in L.A. after dealing with the make-out video with Jason, millions of people were misconstruing my own sexuality and how I felt about participating in something he didn't have my consent for. I ended up moving to a different state to get away from it so people aren't coming up to me left and right bringing up a situation that is legitimately traumatizing."
"When he pulled the mask off it was a split decision. I could either give in to my natural instincts and be the angry black guy in the room, or I can just go along with it, and I made that decision," he added.
So far, Dobrik has not responded to Francois' criticism, nor the viral clip of him boasting about the prank. Dobrik remains one of the most popular creators on YouTube today.