Just last month, David Dobrik's new app, Dispo, was on the rise. The photo-sharing app – designed to emulate the lost experience of using a disposable camera – had been endorsed by celebrities and influencers by the likes of Tana Mongeau and Gigi Hadid, with a profile in The New York Times to boot. "People are clamoring for invites to test the beta version", wrote NYT reporter Taylor Lorenz. "Early adopters are praising its social features. And investors are betting big on its future."
But it looks like all that could be about to change. On Sunday evening (US time), one of Dispo's investors, Spark Capital, announced that they were severing ties with 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," the company posted on Twitter. "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."
The 'recent news' being alluded to to is almost definitely last week's disturbing allegations that a woman who from one of David Dobrik's videos was sexually assaulted by a member of the 'Vlog Squad': a gaggle of close friends Dobrik enlisted to create content with. The rape allegations were made against Dom Zeglaitis (aka Durte Dom), a now 25-year-old friend of Dobrik who has featured in several of his videos. However, if the woman's accusations are true (and almost all rape accusations are), it would suggest that Dobrik is very much complicit in the exploitative, misogynistic culture that allowed the alleged assault to occur.
A flurry of sponsors have reportedly also cut ties with David Dobrik's YouTube channel, including DoorDash, EA Sports and Dollar Shave Club.
We'll keep you across what happens next.
Written by Reena Gupta, a Melbourne-based writer for MTV Australia. Follow her on Twitter on @purpletank.
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