Two of the three remaining Try Guys took to their TryPods podcast today to explain, according to member Keith Habersberger, “What we went through emotionally…our side of the experience last month.”
That experience was the very public withdrawal of longtime member Ned Fulmer after it was discovered that Fulmer, who is married, had been having an affair with an unnamed staff member. The fact that his wife, Ariel Fulmer, hosts a podcast called you can sit with us with the wives of other members.
Titled “Okay, Let’s Talk About It,” today’s podcast featured Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld detailing how overwhelming the news and reaction was to them as well as the decision not to replace Fulmer.
“We treated it almost like a trauma,” Kornfeld explained. “It really shook our word, but also the ramifications were so clear. I don’t think I’ve really stopped processing him emotionally. Even still, I don’t know if I have any. Because it was just, ‘OK, we have to act.’ ”
He continued: “The fact that it was a transgression that was publicly enacted added a level of complication to that, where we knew there was this stick of dynamite with an uncertain fuse. We knew at any time it could and would come out.
When the news broke, the attention was unlike anything the remaining Try Guys had ever experienced – which says a lot about the members of a YouTube channel with 8 million subscribers.
“We’ve had more eyes on us than ever before,” Kornfeld said, before explaining that he realized why controversial influencers are so popular. “Oh, that’s why people make a career out of it and lean heavily into drama. What I’ve also learned is that I don’t want to be in it. We’ve been proud for eight years to be undramatic boys, and I can’t wait to get back in. All this fucking circus doesn’t interest me and doesn’t fit with what I want to be defined as a creative person.
“My whole Tik-Tok feed is about me,” he continued. “Opening up Tik-Tok for an escape and getting sucked down that rabbit hole like an investigative report” about himself was bizarre.
Speaking of unwanted attention, Habersberger said empathically, “Very quickly, we want to talk about the other people involved in this. We’re not talking about Ned here, but there were other people affected by this scenario.
“On the internet, especially in this drama, no matter what you do wrong, it’s really hard to say it’s appropriate punishment. Like, imagine if everyone listening can imagine the time you screwed up, because everyone screwed up before… and you were number one trending on Twitter and the New York Times mentioned you and showed your picture, it’s really difficult.
The duo said that in addition to the Gray Lady, they have been the subject of reports by NPR, Rolling Stone and TMZ.
“It can just make you feel like no one in the world loves you anymore,” Habersberger observed.
“I know for a fact that people have received death threats about this,” Kornfeld said.
“It would be a lot for the strongest people,” Habersberger replied. “We’re very sympathetic to these people because it’s a strong reaction to deal with.”
Kornfeld said he had his own dark moments.
“I had these really visceral thoughts like, ‘Oh my God, everything I’ve worked for is tainted.’ ”
“During the first two weeks,” he said, “I was afraid it would jeopardize everything for us.”
When asked if their sanctions against Fulmer would have been different if the who case had not been made public, the answer was a resounding “no”.
Habersberger explained, “It betrayed our trust. It was a work violation. This would mean for everyone in our office who knew what they knew, that we weren’t true to everything we say we are and to our values. Quite simply, it would have been deleted. It wouldn’t have been this public spectacle. We probably would have tried to avoid this for the sake of others involved.
Speaking of which, they indicated that Ariel Fulmer is welcome at you can sit with us if she chooses to return.
“Ariel is one of our partners on this show and we’re going to give her some time to sit down,” Habersberger said.