On Sept. 27, Ned Fulmer, member and co-owner of the entertainment YouTube group known as The Try Guys, openly admitted to cheating on his wife, Ariel Fulmer. Leaked photos of Ned and Alexandria Herring, associate producer for The Try Guys, were released on Reddit and made their way to every social media platform.
Since then, The Try Guys have announced that Ned has been removed from the company and will no longer be working with them after conducting an internal review. The Instagram accounts of The Try Guys, Ned and Ariel all posted official statements regarding the situation.
The reveal of this scandal incited a whirlwind of discussions on social media.
Many people pointed out the hypocrisy of Ned’s personal “brand” of being an avid supporter and lover of his wife. Others expressed their support for the other Try Guys, Eugene Lee Yang, Keith Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld for the removal of Fulmer from the group. Many others offered their love and support to Ariel.
Given the dynamic between Herring and Ned, co-owner of The Try Guys, there was a clear power imbalance between the two. Ned was Herring’s boss and although they are both legal adults, the relationship has an evident dominant position.
Social media users were quick to place blame on Herring and question why she was not also being removed from the company. However, what many fail to recognize is that being a person’s boss places a heavy power and influence over your employees. Therefore, even though Herring is a legal adult, there is a powerful distinction between the employee and the employer.
On Oct. 8, “Saturday Night Live” aired a sketch in which they imitated the news network CNN interviewing The Try Guys. The set was made to replicate the YouTube video released on Oct. 3 by The Try Guys that formally addressed the situation, the timeline of events and what actions were being taken.
The skit contained harmful rhetoric that erased the severity of the situation.
They reduced the incident to a playful occurrence that is not as serious as social media was making it out to be.
“He committed the heinous act of having a consensual kiss and not telling us, his friends,” Mikey Day said in the sketch, portraying Kornfeld.
What this sketch fails to realize is that Ned’s actions jeopardized the entire Try Guys brand and integrity while also ruining the relationship between himself and Ariel along with Herring and Will Thayer III, people who have been friends together for several years.
This also speaks to the bigger issue of male accountability. The “Saturday Night Live” sketch taunted the remaining Try Guys for a significant and detailed decision to fire Ned rather than appreciating that there is a fully man-owned company that is willing to remove a co-owner for inappropriate workplace conduct.
Following the #MeToo movement, there must be companies that will act on situations such as this with such high regard and discipline. Creating a comfortable and safe workplace should be essential to all businesses but “Saturday Night Live“ doesn’t consider this to be important as shown in this sketch.
This sketch ultimately minimizes the situation and the justified feelings of the other Try Guys. It is indicative of the culture of male accountability and toxic masculinity as they belittle the men for feeling angered, heartbroken and upset.
These emotions are all appropriate given the situation and we should be working toward a culture that doesn’t tear down men for expressing their feelings and ensures a comfortable work environment for all.