The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
It’s been weeks, and the saga is still going. Many can’t stop talking, thinking, or posting about The Try Guys.
If you spent your early teen years compulsively watching BuzzFeed videos like me, then you knew about The Try Guys, a group of quirky men who eventually left BuzzFeed in 2018 to start their own content creation company.
Recently, news around The Try Guys has been getting juicy, especially around Ned Fulmer, who built his whole personality around loving his wife, Ariel, and their two sons.
At the beginning of September, fans started pointing out that Fulmer was absent from their social media accounts and edited out of videos. Rumors started to swirl on September 27th that Fulmer cheated on his wife, Ariel Fulmer, with Alexandria Herring, an associate producer and member of the Food Babies. Pictures of the two surfaced on Reddit, and it didn’t take long before the avalanche of tweets, Instagram posts, and TikToks ensued.
Turns out, the rumors were real. Later that same day, the remaining Try Guys—Eugene Lee Yang, Keith Habersberger, and Zach Kornfeld—officially announced that Fulmer was officially terminated from the company. Soon Fulmer released his own (rather lacking) statement confirming the rumors about the affair. His statement included a line about “losing focus and having a consensual workplace relationship,” sparking many memes and eyebrow raises from the general public.
“The persona of Fulmer that we all knew and loved is gone.”
The world was shocked. Ex-BuzzFeed employees began to input their two cents. Meanwhile, Lee Yang, Habersberger, and Kornfeld took some time to gather their thoughts. On October 3, they released a video titled “what happened.” to try to clear the air. They revealed that they had found out about the affair around Labor Day weekend and had been spending the past few weeks contacting lawyers and figuring out a game plan, which started with firing Fulmer. They also released a new episode of their “TryPod” podcast on October 6, which explained more of their personal experiences dealing with this situation over the past few weeks. Among the insight, we learned that Habersnerger listened to a lot of Radiohead and Olivia Rodrigo to cope, so I can only imagine he had “traitor” on repeat.
Conversations and memes about “what happened.” took off quickly. Specifically, about how Lee Yang looked angry (while still wearing a stylish outfit, of course), how Habersberger seemed disappointed, and how Kornfeld held back tears. It was sad to see for longtime fans, knowing that things will never quite be the same again.
On October 8th, “SNL” aired a skit parodying “what happened.”, implying that the remaining members and general public were overreacting over “a side chick.”
This understandably has been receiving backlash, partly because it was written by Will Stephen, who went to Yale with Fulmer and is a close friend.
What “SNL” annoyingly failed to understand is that this isn’t just some soap opera scandal. A family is affected, a friendship of over ten years is ruined, and a company that was built together has lost a lot of money and upcoming content. Not to mention a higher-up engaged in an unprofessional and problematic affair with an associate, who was engaged to her boyfriend, Will Thayer, of 10 years.
The persona of Fulmer that we all knew and loved is gone. And we’ve seen it happen before with public figures such as John Mulaney, another “wife-guy” who didn’t turn out to be who we thought. If you just take a look at Fulmer’s Instagram, it’s all Ariel and his children, with his bio saying he’s “Ariel’s husband.” Not to mention the video compilations of Ned mentioning Ariel and saying “my wife” over and over. People started to realize after the truth was revealed that this was Fulmer overcompensating, saying words that now don’t mean much.
If we’ve learned anything from this, it’s to respect the people hurt most in this situation. Actions will always speak louder than words, and the “wife-guy” might need a reality check the next time he tries to talk the talk rather than actually walk it.
The remaining members of The Try Guys handled this tricky dilemma as best and as professionally as they could, especially for being internet figures. Many people, including me, can only hope for the best as things move forward, welcoming a new era.