David Dobrik, who rose to stardom on YouTube and TikTok with over-the-top pranks and comedy skits produced with a group of his L.A. friends, resigned from Dispo, the camera-app startup he co-founded in 2019.
Dobrik’s exit from the board of Dispo comes after a report by Business Insider last week that documented sexual-assault allegations by a woman against a former member of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad, the name of his group of collaborators.
“David has chosen to step down from the board and leave the company to not distract from the company’s growth,” Dispo said in a statement Sunday, as first reported by tech-news site The Information. “Dispo’s team, product, and most importantly — our community — stand for building a diverse, inclusive, and empowering world.”
Last month, Dispo announced a $20 million Series A funding round led by venture-capital firm Spark Capital. On Sunday, Spark Capital tweeted that it was cutting ties to Dispo.
“In light of recent news about the Vlog Squad and David Dobrik, the cofounder of Dispo, we have made the decision to sever all ties with the company,” Spark Capital wrote in a pair of tweets. “We have stepped down from our position on the board and we are in the process of making arrangements to ensure we do not profit from our recent investment in Dispo.”
Reps for Dispo (as in “disposable camera”) did not respond to a request for additional info about the Spark Capital statement.
In addition, several brands that had sponsorship deals with Dobrik have said they will not do business with him again, including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, EA, HelloFresh, Dollar Shave Club and SeatGeek.
As first reported by Insider and corroborated by the New York Times, a woman who appeared in one of Dobrik’s 2018 videos said she was raped by a former member of the Vlog Squad while she was incapacitated by alcohol. Dobrik has since removed the video, in which he said at the end: “We’re all going to jail.”
Dobrik addressed the accusations in a YouTube video last week titled “Let’s Talk.”
“Consent is something that’s super, super important to me,” he said in the video. Dobrik continued, “I’ve been really disappointed by some of my friends, and for that reason I’ve separated from a lot of them… I’m sorry if I’ve let you down, and things like that won’t happen again. And I learned from my mistakes, um, and I also believe actions speak a lot louder than words. And you know, you can take my word for it that I’m going to change, but I’ll also show you and I’ll prove you that the mistakes I made before won’t be happening again.”
Dobrik rose to fame on now-defunct social-video app Vine in the mid-2010s, after which he jumped to YouTube with videos produced along with his Vlog Squad coterie of friends that ran for exactly four minutes and 20 seconds. Since the pandemic hit a year ago, he’s focused on TikTok and put his YouTube vlog videos on hiatus. Several months ago, he and his team pitched a talk-show concept, which he described as “‘Jackass’ meets late-night,” to different outlets but that never moved forward.
Last year, Dobrik purchased a $9.5 million Sherman Oaks mansion, which is outfitted with a 12-by-12-foot bed, a podcast production studio and a drinking fountain that dispenses fruit punch.