Content warning for verbal, emotional and physical child abuse, including descriptions under the cut
for the past few days, a disturbing prank video has been going around the Internet and has prompted outcry from many over the content of both the video and the channel itself.
The YouTube channel DaddyOFive, run by a Maryland local named Mike Martin, is half family vlog and half prank videos. Many of his videos had already been called out before for the seemingly abusive nature behind them, but the most recent video, titled "Invisible Ink Prank (Epic Freakout)" has been the straw that broke the camel's back. In the clip, which is featured in the above video, what seemingly starts off as an innocuous prank ends with both parents screaming profanities at one of their sons, whom they accuse of having caused a mess, and which causes the boy to have a breakdown and start crying. As a result of that, other videos have been discovered that reveal the emotionally and phsyically abusive nature of the household, much of which has been aimed at the youngest boy, Cody. The content of the clips, some of which are featured in DeFranco's takedown, include:
- As Cody is wrestling with his brother, his father kicks him in the groin. In another clip, Mike shoves Cody face-first into a bookshelves, and later on, you can see blood on his pillow and under his nose. Mike has claimed the blood is just ink and that Cody already had a scab there.
- multiple instances of Mike recording his other children ganging up on Cody, including having the older children wrestle him, hitting and throwing things at him, violently pulling him off a chair on their father's orders, and breaking his stuff to induce a reaction from him (that Mike would record and then post online).
- claiming the family was giving Cody away for adoption, and recording his terrified reaction and subsequently accusing him of not being able to take a joke. Their defenders - yes, they have a fanbase - claim that if Cody were really being abused, he wouldn't have reacted as strongly as he did.
- pretending to abandon Cody at the mall, recording his terrified reaction and only intervening when a stranger goes up to him to ask if he was lost. Again, the video has the entire family teasing the boy for the way he reacted to being left alone in a mall.
- ANOTHER video where Cody gets a black eye at a park, and the only person to console him being a stranger. According to people who watched the video, neither of his parents comfort him or help him, and even joke about giving him another black eye to match the one he has.
- breaking Cody's stuff - including an iPad that was just recently given to him - with a hammer and recording his reaction. In one video, the father screams at Cody and breaks his DS because of something one of his brothers did and framed Cody for. His mother, who recorded the whole thing, didn't intervene, and claimed that Cody deserved it because "he's a bad kid".
- The mother, a frequent participant, setting up a prank where she has one of her sons dress up as a burglar and starts screaming for her husband to help. The husband comes out screaming and pointing a real gun at the boy, and yet the mother doesn't intervene outside of jokingly claiming "it's just a prank, bro!"
- In a subsequent post by Phillip DeFranco, there are more clips, including one where Cody reaches out to something, and Mike punching his arm down. Bruises are later seen on Cody's arm.
- Cody, who frequently takes the brunt of the abuse, is often recorded breaking down, begging his parents to stop recording, to leave him alone, and at one point telling his father he doesn't trust him anymore. His parent's frequent response? ":Learn to take a joke! It's just a prank!"
shortly after the video exploded, DaddyOFive uploaded another video called "Blocking All of the Haters", claiming that they aren't abusing their children, having their children repeat their claims, and at one point, the mother proudly stating that they were already investigated by CPS, and nothing was found. Shortly after, the channel uploaded a clip talking about taking the family to Disneyworld... and leaving Cody behind because he had been smearing fecal matter on the walls, which many have noted is a common defense mechanism that results from abuse. Since then, Mike Martin has posted another video where he claims that the videos are all scripted and that the accusations are ruining his family's lives.
please take care while watching either videos, ontd!