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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Providence chapter.

In 2018, four former Buzzfeed employees started a new production company called 2nd Try, LLC. Their flagship YouTube channel, The Try Guys, amassed over 8 million subscribers in a span of four years. The Try Guys (Zack Kornfeld, Eugene Lee Yang, Ned Fulmer, and Keith Habersberger) create videos where they “try” new things ranging from wearing women’s pants to eating everything on the Taco Bell menu.

On Friday, September 16th, one of the founding members, Ned Fulmer, was fired from the company due to a cheating scandal and an inappropriate relationship with an employee. On Monday, October 3rd, the three remaining Try Guys posted a response video titled “what happened.” which currently has over 10 million views.

“Try Guys” – SNL (10/9/22)

Since the response video, major media companies such as The New York Times, Time, and Variety have published articles about the situation. Even the iconic late-night show Saturday Night Live! filmed a sketch recreating and mocking the response video (rumor has it that Ned Fulmer’s friend from Yale, who is a writer on SNL, wrote this sketch). The reality is that although the Try Guys have a presence on YouTube, their videos before the scandal only had an average of 1.5 million views.

So, why are people so upset about this situation?

Firstly, Ned Fulmer’s “brand” on YouTube consisted of two things: his wife, Ariel Fulmer, and graduating from Yale University. In fact, Ned’s figurine has catchphrases such as “my wife.” In a resurfaced TikTok video, Ned referred to himself by saying, “He’s a ten, but he’s already married.” Yikes.

Not only is he married with two kids but also, he cheated on his wife with an employee, Alexandria Herring. Alexandria Herring is an Associate Producer of the Try Guys and was a recurring member of the show “Food Babies” on the Try Guys channel. She appeared in a video trying on wedding dresses because she was recently engaged after a 10.5 year-long relationship. The two were repeatedly spotted engaging in public romantic behavior and were even caught at a Harry Styles concert together.

But with scandals such as Adam Levine cheating on Behati Prinsloo and Tristan Thompson cheating on Khloé Kardashian, why are people so invested in Ned Fulmer’s scandal?

The Try Guys have always been considered “untouchable” and the “wholesome” guys on YouTube. The first Try Guys video on Buzzfeed was released in 2014 and fans have developed a fondness for the Try Guys over the years. Followers of the Try Guys saw Ned Fulmer’s first child grow up in videos and witnessed significant moments of all the Try Guys’ lives.

“ok, let’s talk about it.” – The TryPod Ep. 181 (10/6/22)

In the recent TryPod ep. 181, Zach said, “I feel like we were our Bill Nye the Science Guy to some people (but dumber) but like just in that sort of like who we look up to and think about as a great role model because they made content we watched as kids that helped us grow and that attaches us to them in a different way than an Adam Levine or another celebrity.” In this podcast, Zach and Keith reflected on the situation and they both agreed that they were able to see their impact on the internet in a weird, albeit non-ideal way.

We refused to sweep things under the rug. That is not who we are and is not what we stand for.

Eugene Lee Yang (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6fIp7mMJ90)

In the end, the Try Guys eloquently handled the situation and despite losing a friend, they “refused to sweep things under the rug.” The remaining three Try Guys showed their true morals and character by acknowledging the victims and family members affected by this situation. This scandal is one of many that teaches us the realities of parasocial relationships and the intimacy we feel with public personas. The once wife-loving, family-oriented, unproblematic Ned Fulmer is now seen as an example of a duplicitous internet personality.

Emily Kim

Providence '26

Emily Kim is a freshman undeclared student at Providence College. Her go-to pastime is to re-watching her favorite movies (The Dark Knight, Inception, Spirited Away) and taking pictures. Her favorite album is the folklore album by Taylor Swift and her favorite song on the album is "mirrorball."