David Dobrik is already reviving his controversial Vlog Squad — only three months after rape and sexual assault allegations rocked his $200 million YouTube brand.
Dobrik shocked his 18.3 million subscribers with a new video Tuesday night. The comeback clip — titled “SURPRISING MY FRIENDS!!” — features quick snapshots of Dobrik surprising his friends with his vlogging comeback.
The comeback clip has already racked up more than 3 million views, leaving some YouTube commenters to question the brevity of his hiatus — which is only vaguely referenced in the new footage.
In March, two members of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad were accused of sexual assault after an anonymous accuser revealed to Insider allegations that during one of the squad’s video shoots, Dominyka “Durte Dom” Zeglaitis had sexually assaulted her while she was intoxicated. Meanwhile, in February, former Vlog Squad member Joseth “Seth” Francois alleged to BuzzFeed News that he was tricked into kissing co-star Jason Nash on camera. It soon appeared to fans and subscribers that Dobrik and his squad might be taking advantage of victims for views and clout.
“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. I did not know this before,” Dobrik said in the emotional clip posted in March to his followers.
Dobrik’s hiatus might indeed appear brief, given the scandal’s damage to his rapidly expanding brand. In his new YouTube video, the social media star’s featured guests appear to be genuinely shocked to see Dobrik with a camera in his hand again. While there are no explicit comments as to why he took a break, some of the guests make cryptic references to his absence.
Nash’s mother screamed at Dobrik, “I’ve been worried about you. I’m on Xanax because of you.”
David also reveals to his on-cam friends that he’s treating them on a trip to Hawaii. In response, vlogger Jeff Wittek cracks a joke: “Call off the lawsuit, he’s doing something,” an apparent reference to his prior public statements about Dobrik’s push for Wittek to participate in a life-threatening prank.
The comeback video also shows clips of Dobrik getting back into the swing of vlogging. In typical Dobrik fashion, he shows off one of his latest wild purchases — a full-scale red wagon, which he can drive in among actual cars. Additional clips feature his crew wreaking havoc in Hawaii.
Still, Dobrik reassures viewers this is not a one-time video, and ends the clip with a promise of “new vlogs every Tuesday :).”
After the drop of this new video, Dobrik is now a trending topic on Twitter, with fans and haters alike expressing their shock over his sudden comeback.
Some fans even speculated that the surprise post was a deliberate move on Dobrik’s part. Trisha Paytas recently left the “Frenemies” podcast, vacating her popular Tuesday slot — which offers a hot opportunity for Dobrik to re-seize some prime digital real estate.
In her role as host of “Frenemies,” Paytas garnered a lot of attention for regularly exposing YouTube favorites — including Dobrik and his squad. Amid a sea of welcome backs, many YouTube commenters didn’t hesitate to call out what they viewed as the convenient timing of his new video drop.