The Try Guys Scandal Breaks the Internet: What We Should Take away


By now, you’ve likely heard about the cheating scandal that has taken over the internet in recent weeks. If not, here’s a brief summary: A founding member of the YouTube influencer group – The Try Guys – cheated on his wife with an employee. The show started as a rumor in late September, sparked by a classified video of the said member and his employee kissing and dancing in a New York bar. Try Guys’ large fan base took to Twitter and Reddit in investigative pursuits, spreading speculation and suspicion around the world until the company released an official statement revealing that the rumors were indeed true and that the guilty member had been released from the group.

Colburn graduated from Hope College in 2013 and has worked in property rights and compliance since 2021.

Kelsey Colburn, who works in the Office of Equality and Compliance at Hope College as a victim advocate and prevention educator, explains that the names and details of intruders are not important in this scenario. “It’s absolutely true that none of us know these guys – the Try Guys or their partners,” she said, referring to the harmful and unhealthy obsession that can occur with parasitic interactions like these. “There are things we can take away from her [this situation] And learn from them in a broad and general sense, but assuming we know the intricacies of their relationships or that we should even do something that we should be careful about.”

Instead, Colburn noted, “Maybe what we should do is remove a lesson or two from this scandal and figure out how to apply those lessons in our world.” To learn from this unfortunate situation with respect and with intent to grow, I made it clear that respectful communication about needs and desires in our relationships is vital. When discussing romantic relationships, lies, and cheating, Colburn noted that “there is often a lot of buried shame associated with these situations. I really want to warn that it depends on the person, the relationship, and the situation because there are no big blows when it comes to relationships, but healthy relationships should. Be shy free.” Maintaining open communication and honesty as goals within relationships is key to maintaining healthy speech and love.

Thinking specifically about online discourse, she warns us to be careful about brands and personalities. Calling yourself a ‘good guy’ will inevitably lead to failure because no one is perfect. Likewise for me, [this Try Guy member’s attitude] It exudes that it’s somehow “above patriarchy,” when everyone is soaked in it, and we all have something to continually learn and grow in. I think we need to be careful with these labels. We need more humility and honesty.”

One Twitter user commented, “There were a lot of other ways they could have made fun of this,” but they went on to make the victims the victim while downplaying workplace harassment. This is a beautiful, tasteless comedy.”

Colburn points to the Saturday Night Live (SNL) cartoon, which mocked Try Guys’ video statement about the situation, as an example of unhelpful and harmful online behavior. The sitcom featured SNL members Bowen Yang, Mikey Day and Andrew Dismukes as the three remaining members of Try Guys, sparking their reaction by portraying the past two weeks as the “battle of their lives” and stating that “due to the trauma we’re facing, our editors are editing on Clock to remove them [this member] From previous Try Guys content. This is the battle of our lives.” The sitcom was also particularly underestimating its approach to approval within the workplace and real life that was affected. “So the whole story is your boyfriend had a side chick and you kicked him out?” asks the sitcom’s news anchor, adding fuel to the Misinterpretation of the whole picture.

“What a pity [about the skit] “You really missed the two people most affected by what happened – his wife, and the woman he was with … It demolished the fact that this is not something you want to see in the atmosphere of the workplace,” Colborne said. When it comes to our campus, she wants to make sure that “people don’t think the power imbalance in relationships is OK to hide. It’s not okay to hide. It’s something that needs to be talked about and discussed openly. I also don’t want people to underestimate the impact of it.” that damage [power imbalances] They can cause pain to all the people involved.” Workplace relationships or relationships within similar organizations must be central to discussions of power and hierarchical environments. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) explains consent in this context: “If someone agrees to Activity under the pressure of intimidation or threat, this does not count as consent because it is not given freely. Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also mean that consent cannot be given freely.”

With this in mind, Colburn emphasizes that even if the Try Guys take themselves very seriously in their video,[the SNL skit] It’s not the way we should talk about power dynamics or extramarital relationships.”

So what can we – as students, staff, faculty, and members of the College of Hope – do to prevent such harmful outcomes? According to Colborne, all this again relates to communication. One of the reasons for the failure of healthy communication is fear: fear of what the other person might say, fear of conflict, fear of being harmed. Learning to trust that the other person in a healthy relationship has your best interest at heart and to remain curious about where they’re coming from is a good place to start, she said. “Try to reduce defensiveness as much as possible and replace it with curiosity.”

If you have any questions about how to do this or would like to contact the Equity and Compliance team with any related issues, you can contact Clasey Colburn directly at colburnk@hope.edu or reach out to any of the staff through Equity & Compliance website.


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