These controversial YouTubers have lost custody of their kids because of their prank videos. Is it right or wrong?
The popular YouTubers ‘DaddyOFive’ — Mike and Heather Martin — have been accused of Child Abuse, and Child Protective Services had previously investigated them.
Recently, Rose Hall, the biological mother of Mike Martin’s youngest children, Cody and Emma, has taken custody of her children.
The YouTube videos have been removed, but the premise of the channel was that the parents would ‘prank’ their kids and film their reactions.
Often, these videos would involve Cody, age 9, and his extreme reactions. The young boy cries, has tantrums, and throws things. Some of the pranks include telling him he’s been adopted by another family and to pack his things, breaking his Xbox, his older brother smashing his new tablet with a hammer, swearing at him for ‘bad behavior’ like peeing on trees and not cleaning his room.
Here is a video cataloguing the alleged abuse of Cody: (LANGUAGE WARNING)
On Monday, Rose Hall, the biological mother of Mike Martin’s two youngest children, Cody, nine, and Emma, 12, uploaded a video with her lawyer, Tim Conlon of the Custody Place, saying that she had emergency custody of the kids, who were the main targets of the ‘pranks’ of Mike and his second wife, Heather.
‘They’re doing good,’ Hall says on the video. ‘They’re getting back to their playful selves.’
‘The kids are in a deprogramming sort of mode in the moment,’ said Conlon.
The pair thanked people on YouTube who persisted on trying to get the children taken away from the couple.
‘Very heartbreaking and disturbing to see my kids abused,’ said Hall.
The children were the ‘stars’ or ‘victims’ depending on who you ask of popular YouTube channel DaddyoFive, which has 760,000 subscribers.
The videos often showed father Martin ‘pranking’ his youngest child, Cody, in a series of incidents that many in the YouTube community have been calling abusive for several months.
Videos include Martin convincing Cody he had been adopted out to another family, pushing him and bloodying his nose (Martin claimed the blood was fake), smashing Cody’s X-box with a hammer, accusing Cody of spraying his room with ink when he didn’t and yelling and swearing at him.
Often Cody ends up red faced, crying, screaming, or throwing things out of frustration. In one video, Cody threatens to kill himself. ‘I hate my life just kill me,’ he cries after his father harangues him.
Usually while the father torments Cody, an older brother films the action for the channel.
An online petition drew almost 19,000 signatures to get CPS to investigate the family. The family lives in Baltimore, Maryland…
…Hall claims the children were taken from her illegally in 2014 when Mike and Heather forged her signature on custody documents.
On April 22, the couple uploaded an ‘apology video’ for an earlier video that caused a huge scandal. In it, the couple berate Cody for messing up his room with ink. In reality, it was Heather who smeared the ink around, and it was invisible ink.
‘This has been the absolute worst week of our life,’ Heather says in the video. ‘We realize we have made some terrible parenting decisions.’…
…The couple, however, still insists that the kids were in on the ‘joke’ and eager to see how many views the videos could get. They also claimed the family was in counseling.
The couple made approximately $200,000 to $350,000 annually from the channel, according to New York Magazine.
‘We could give them a whole lot more than we could before,’ Heather said of the money. ‘We just felt like we were doing the best thing we could for them.’
Mike tweeted, ‘I’m sorry everyone but I have taken down/demonetized all videos my family’s safety is more important than fake videos.’
The video that caused such a backlash was posted April 12 and shows Cody, as usual in these videos, in tears.
Read more: Daily Mail
Watch Rose Hall, the biological mom of Emma and Cody, with her lawyer:
Watch the Martins in an apology video in April:
There is now a response video critique ‘cottage industry’ and one of the lead YouTubers is Philip DeFranco:
The Martins continue to assert that the videos are ‘exaggerations’ of real reactions and that the videos are only uploaded with the approval of their kids.
The videos were hugely popular and were making the Martins big money.
Did they exaggerate to bring in more cash?
Did they encourage their kids to have bigger tantrums and more over-the-top reactions for more views?
What does that teach kids, though?
That they should behave badly to get more attention?
The family is in counselling, and the two youngest kids have been taken away.
This family was Internet-Famous and raked in the money for their over-the-top prank videos.
Is this symptomatic of a culture without a moral compass?
What do you think?
Should the kids have been removed from their home?
Should the situation have been handled differently?
Or were they in an abusive situation and it’s good that they’re out of there?
Let us know in the comments.