A former member of David Dobrik's Vlog Squad says he was sexually assaulted during a video shoot
Vlog Squadmember Seth Francoissays he was sexually assaulted during a video shoot.
- In a video from 2017, he was kissed by
Jason Nash, while seemingly under the impression it would be a woman.
- Francois said he never consented to this prank, and that it has traumatized him ever since.
In one of
On February 12, Francois, who was formerly in Dobrik's Vlog Squad creator crew, called into the H3 podcast, which is hosted by Ethan and Hila Klein, to speak about the video. He described what happened for the first time as
Representatives for Nash and Dobrik did not respond to requests for comment and have yet to issue any public statement on Francois' complaints.
Seth Francois spoke out after another former Vlog Squad member described the group as 'toxic'Francois told Insider in an interview on February 15 that he was of two minds before choosing to come forward with his experience.
On the one hand, he says he was so traumatized that he wasn't sure he wanted to bring more attention to it. He said he felt like his masculinity was stripped from him, and he's had to rebuild and redefine himself again since."I'm just training my mind to just be strong enough to just like completely get over it," he said. "It wasn't my fault. I didn't sign up for it. I didn't ask for that to happen to me. And it did. But that's something that I just personally have to live with." But Francois also felt compelled to tell his story.
Hs left the Vlog Squad in 2019, but it wasn't until the summer of 2020 he started to reflect on the reasons why.
He spoke to Insider in August about a video he released in June where he said he wanted to take accountability for his involvement in Dobrik's vlogs, which included several racist jokes and skits.Francois said he had gone through a period of reflection since the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, and began to realize he had been playing a "token" Black man in a lot of Dobrik's videos. He said in order to be able to look himself in the mirror, and rid himself of the guilt for contributing to the pain caused towards his community, he had to say something.
Since then, Francois has been on a journey to put it all behind him, but he still couldn't let go of something else about how he was treated while in Dobrik's crew.
After another former Vlog Squad member, Nik "BigNik" Keswani, described his time in the Vlog Squad as "toxic" and "like a cult," Francois decided to come forward publicly saying that he hadn't given his consent for Nash to kiss him.Francois told Insider he started to see the "prank" as something more insidious about two years ago, and came to the conclusion that it was "creepy and weird."
Francois says he feels that the Vlog Squad profited off of his trauma
After his realization, Francois said he started asking himself more critical questions about his own experience, such as why his supposed friends would have put him in a troubling situation in the first place. He believes that he was targeted because of his skin color.Francois says he initially liked Nash and considered him a friend, but questioned the logic behind the 45-year-old putting his tongue in a 23-year-old's mouth "knowing that that could possibly be something that could come back to haunt them."
"It's kind of crazy to think about someone who is an adult, like a grown adult, who has a lot of understanding about like what's wrong and what's right, to just be in a situation and agree to do that," Francois said. "It just says something about who you are and what you think you can get away with."Francois said of Dobrik and Nash they have effectively gotten away with it. "They profited off causing me a lot of mental trauma, which is something that really hurts to know," he said. "When an alleged friend puts you in a situation like that."
Francois hopes to encourage others to come forward if they've been mistreated in the influencer industry
Another reason Francois wanted to tell his story was to encourage others to come forward if they had experienced anything non-consensual with members of the Vlog Squad, or other famous
The YouTube world is largely unregulated and full of young people who have grown up into immense fame with little reason for introspection, primarily incentivized by money and clout.Francois never wanted to "cancel" anyone, he said. All he ever wanted was for the videos to be taken down. He says he's asked Dobrik to do this several times over the years without success.
The prank video from 2018 has been set to private and is no longer available to watch, but the original one from 2017 is "unlisted," meaning it is accessible to anyone who has the link. Dobrik, who allegedly ignored Francois' latest requests a few days before he appeared on the H3 Podcast, is not "doing what friends would do," Francois said.
"I'm not asking for a new Tesla, I'm asking you to do something that literally costs you absolutely nothing but a little bit of time," he said. "People were saying I've betrayed David, but I feel like he betrayed me. I was very hurt and even right now talking about it, it really makes you want to cry."Francois said he never wanted it to come to legal action, but that he is currently considering it because he now feels it is his only option for seeking justice.
He also wants to inspire men who may have been sexually assaulted to come forward. Statistics suggest the number of men who experience sexual assault may be much higher than the number who actually report it. Many of the reasons why are linked to shame, or the fact they don't believe law enforcement will take them seriously.Francois said he didn't want to be labeled as the guy who was sexually assaulted, but now that he has some control over his narrative he wants to turn it into a positive.
"I've internalized so much," he said. "They made me that guy, I didn't have a choice."
- Bihar has no governance, state budget a bundle of lies : Tejashwi in assembly
- Haryana to table anti-conversion bill in upcoming budget session: Minister
- Bihar saw 8-fold growth in budget size during both RJD and NDA regimes : Tejashwi
- MVA govt trying to curtail budget session citing pandemic: BJP
- Gangubai Kathiawadi: An inspiring journey of a brothel head and a political leader of Kamathipura