The father behind the popular YouTube channel Daddyofive went viral for all the wrong reasons after a prank went way too far. Youtuber Philip DeFranco, who has a cool five million subscribers on his channel, criticized the parents, Mike and Heather Martin, for what he called flat out “abuse.” In his video, DeFranco expressed his outrage over the Martins exploiting their children for the sake of their sick pranks.
One recent video in particular, in which they swear at their youngest child, sparked the especially severe backlash from viewers and YouTubers alike. DeFranco edited clips from a range of Daddyofive’s videos to argue his point. In the videos, there were some disturbing clips in which the children were crying uncontrollably while the parents yelled.
Another video published on April 12th shows the Martin’s pouring black ink onto their youngest son Cody’s bedroom floor and then immediately blaming him. The parents swore at Cody angrily for making the mess, and when he denied it, they accused him of lying. Cody then cried hysterically, along with his brother Alex, who was also being pranked.
Since DeFranco’s video went viral, the Martins apologized for the insensitive videos. Mike said, “What started out as family fun and entertainment took on a life of its own. Before we knew it, we were caught-up in our families popularity which led to some poor decisions. Upon reflection, we realize there were mistakes made that caused our family some pain; we offer our most humble and sincere apology to those we negatively impacted and offended, particularly our wonderful children.”
This apology, however, was unfortunately too little too late as the issue has become even more serious. On Monday, Rose Hall, the biological mother of Mike Martin’s two children, Cody and Emma met with her lawyer, Tim Conlon, who gave her emergency custody of the kids. “Very heartbreaking and disturbing to see my kids abused,” said Hall.
An online petition drew an impressive 19,000 signatures to get CPS to investigate the Martins who currently live in Baltimore, Maryland. DaddyoFive’s videos have all been removed from YouTube except for his apology.