'It’s just a prank, bro,”
“It’s just a prank, bro.”
That’s the frequent refrain from Mike and Heather Martin, YouTube personalities who have found Internet fame documenting their family life with the channel DaddyOFive, which often includes mean-spirited pranks that leave their children in tears.
While many on social media have been outspoken in their distaste and disgust with parents tormenting their own children, the schtick carried on … and on … and on. Until now. Two of the couple’s five children—Mike’s with another mother—are now in the mother’s custody on an “emergency” basis.
Though the proceedings leading to the reversion of custody are still somewhat unclear, it’s no surprise to many familiar with the parents’ brand of twisted, sociopathic humor. Mike said on Good Morning America that the family was being investigated for allegations of child abuse. Recently, it seems documentation of domestic violence charges have been filed against the father:
Their first breakthrough video featured the mom dumping invisible ink on the stairs, blaming one of the children for the act, calling him a liar, then screaming profanity at him until he was visibly upset and crying.
Then there was the big reveal from dad…
“It’s just a prank, bro.”
The video, which I wouldn’t post here out of principle and decency, has been taken down in a violation of YouTube’s harassment and bullying policies. It seems that the family recently pulled all their videos from the channel recently, leaving up only a video offering an apology for their acts.
Further, while there’s little question about the parents’ culpability, there were also more than 700,000 subscribers who seemed at best indifferent and at worst enthusiastic about the psychological games these parents play with their kids:
People talking about daddyofive ignore the important fact that 762,767 subs were totally down with viewing child abuse as entertainment— Timmy as heck (@Timmy as heck)1493746918.0
An apology that only came about once they got in trouble for abusing and scaring their children for some viral fame and a few bucks.
I’m not going to post that video either because, well, these parents are just terrible.
But here they are, acting their most contrite in a screenshot:
Rose Hall, the mother of the two of the children, Cody and Emma, posted a video on YouTube alongside her lawyer to give those concerned an update:
Hall speaks of the horror of seeing her kids tormented for cheap laughs from strangers, saying in the video, "Very heartbreaking and disturbing to see my kids being abused.”
Here’s to hoping the three other children will find a home in which they’re treated and loved like human beings instead of cheap stage props without feelings.