The Try Guys Scandal Breaks the Internet: What We Should Remember |  The anchor

The Try Guys Scandal Breaks the Internet: What We Should Remember | The anchor

By now, you’ve probably heard of the cheating scandal that has swirled around the internet for the past few weeks. Otherwise, here’s a quick rundown: A founding member of YouTube influencer group The Try Guys has been exposed for cheating on his wife with an employee. This expose began as a rumor in late September, sparked by a secret video of the aforementioned member and his employee kissing and dancing in a New York bar. The Try Guys’ large fanbase took to Twitter and Reddit to investigate, spreading speculation and suspicion around the world until the company released an official statement revealing 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 equity and compliance since 2021.

Kelsey Colburn, who works in Hope College’s Office of Equity and Compliance as a victim advocate and prevention educator, says names and prying details are not important in this scenario. “It’s absolutely true that none of us know these people – the Try Guys or their partners,” she said, pointing out the harmful and unhealthy obsession that can arise with parasocial interactions like these. . “There are things you can remember [this situation] and to learn in a broad and general sense, but assuming we know the intricacies of their relationships or even should, that’s something we should be careful about.

Instead, Colburn noted, “perhaps what we should do is take a lesson or two from this scandal and figure out how to apply those lessons in our own world.” To learn from this unfortunate situation with respect and with an intention for growth, she explained that respectful communication about the needs and desires within our own relationships is vital. In discussing romantic relationships, lying, and cheating, Colburn noted that “there is often a lot of buried shame attached to these situations. I really want to caution that it depends on the person, the relationship, and the situation, because there are no blueprints when it comes to relationships, but healthy relationships should be free from shame. Maintaining open communication and honesty as goals in relationships is essential to maintaining healthy speech and love.

Thinking specifically about online discourse, she warns us to pay attention to brands and personalities. “Pretending to be ‘good’ will inevitably lead to failure because no one is perfect. And me too, [this Try Guy member’s attitude] suggests that it is somehow “above the patriarchy”, while everyone is imbued with it, and we all have something to learn and continually develop. I think you have to be careful with these labels. We need a little more humility and honesty.

“There were so many other ways they could have parodied this,” one Twitter user commented, “but they chose to make victims the punchline while minimizing workplace harassment. It’s a pretty bland comedy.

Colburn cites the Saturday Night Live (SNL) skit, which mocked the Try Guys’ video statement on the situation, as an example of unnecessary and harmful online behavior. The sketch featured SNL members Bowen Yang, Mikey Day and Andrew Dismukes as the three remaining members of the Try Guys, satirically dramatizing their response by describing the past two weeks as the “fight of their lives” and stating that “due to the trauma we are facing, our editors are editing around the clock to remove [this member] previous Try Guys content. This is the battle of our lives. The skit was also particularly downplaying in its approach to workplace consent and the real lives that were impacted. “So the full story is your friend had a side girl and you fired him?” asks a news anchor in the skit, adding fuel to the misinterpretation of the entire image.

“What was unfortunate [about the skit] was that he was really missing the two people who were most affected by what happened – his wife, the woman he was with… it demolished the fact that it’s not something you want to see in an atmosphere work,” Colburn said. When it comes to our own campus, she wants to make sure “people don’t think it’s okay to hide a power imbalance in relationships. It’s not good to hide. This is something to be talked about and discussed openly. I also don’t want people to diminish the impact of the evil that [power imbalances] can cause and pain for everyone involved. Relationships in the workplace or relationships within similar institutions should be central to discussions of power and hierarchical environments. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) explains consent in this context: “If someone agrees to an activity under the pressure of intimidation or threat, that is not considered consent because it does not was not freely given. Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also means that consent cannot be given freely.

With that in mind, Colburn says that while the Try Guys took themselves too seriously in their statement video, “[the SNL skit] This is not how we should talk about power dynamics or extramarital affairs.

So what can we, as students, staff, faculty, and the Hope College community, do to avoid such harmful outcomes? According to Colburn, it’s all about communication again. “One of the reasons healthy communication can fail is fear: fear of what the other might say, fear of conflict, fear of being hurt. Learning to believe that the other person in a healthy relationship has your best interests at heart and staying curious about where that’s 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 proceed or would like to contact the Equity & Compliance team with any related issues, you can contact Kelsey Colburn directly at or contact one of the staff via the Web Equity & Compliance. .

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