Updated: October 4th, 2022.
Ever since the dust started to settle after the Adam Levine and Sumner Stroh drama, internet users have watched as another cheating scandal unfolds. At the end of last month, the news broke that Ned Fulmer, one-quarter of the iconic YouTube collective, The Try Guys, had been cheating on his wife, Ariel.
But for those unfamiliar with the drama, let’s rewind.
Rising to viral fame in 2014, The Try Guys — Zach Kornfeld, Eugene Lee Yang, Keith Habersberger and, of course, Ned Fulmer — were originally under the auspices of Buzzfeed. As the name suggests, the quartet went viral for trying just about anything (think: ballet, drag, and even swimming with sharks). After building a dedicated fanbase online, the guys left Buzzfeed in 2018 to form an independent production company. Over the past few years, the group has continued to post vlog-style content on The Try Guys YouTube channel, amassing over 7.8 million subscribers.
Universally loved for their chemistry, it’s clear that The Try Guys have long been a staple in viral culture. But things are changing for the collective.
The cheating rumours
It all kicked off late last month when avid Try Guys followers noticed that Ned was missing from the group’s newest content. Viewers were quick to point out that three recent videos on the collective’s YouTube channel did not include the classic Try Guys intro, featuring pictures of all the members. Instead, the beginning of each video was replaced with ads that only included Eugene, Keith, and Zach. To make matters even more confusing, Ned had not been featured on the group’s Instagram page since September 8.
Alarm bells started ringing on the r/TheTryGuys subreddit as users speculated that Ned had been purposefully edited out of the group’s recent content. On September 21, The Try Guys announced that they will “be going down to one video a week from now through the end of October” in an Instagram post. Many fans assumed that the collective cut back content to have more time to re-edit pre-recorded videos.
Reddit user parallel5th appeared to sum up the community’s thoughts, writing, “This is what has me convinced he did something terrible. All we can do is speculate, of course, but being edited out of multiple videos feels damning.”
The situation became more concerning as new evidence surfaced, indicating that Ned cheated on Ariel. Fans suspected that the viral star has been romantically involved with Try Guys Production Manager and star of Food Babies, Alexandria Herring.
In a Twitter thread compiled by @camitwomeyy, they shared screenshots from Reddit user hamilton390, with clips of Ned allegedly making out with another woman at a bar.
While these screenshots did not confirm the identity of the woman in question, some clarification came when photos of Alex and Ned at a Harry Styles concert started circulating online.
Adding more fuel to the fire, internet sleuths noticed that Alex’s fiance Will Thayer had unfollowed her on Instagram. Though Will’s Instagram is not public, his followers also went on to claim that he deleted his pictures with Alex.
The other half of the Food Babies, YB Chang, also seemed to have unfollowed Alex and Ned by the time the allegations came to light.
The confirmation and fallout
After days of speculation, Ned confirmed the allegations last week. In a statement posted to his Instagram, Ned apologised for his actions, promising to focus more attention on his marriage and children.
“Family should have always been my priority, but I lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship,” the statement reads. “I’m sorry for any pain that my actions may have caused to the guys and the fans but most of all to Ariel.”
This announcement came after the Try Guys confirmed that the group would no longer be moving forward with Ned as a member.
“As a result of an internal review, we do not see a path forward together. We thank you for your support as we navigate through this change,” the official statement said.
On October 4, the remaining Try Guys posted a video titled “what happened.” to their YouTube channel – marking their first face-to-camera address since the news of Ned’s affair broke. In the 5 and half minute video, Keith, Eugene and Zach took turns explaining what has happened behind the scenes over the past few weeks.
“Ned Fulmer is no longer working with the Try Guys,” Zach began. “We want to give you a timeline of what has transpired and some transparency into our decision-making.”
Keith explained that the team only learnt about Ned’s behaviour on Labor Day weekend, after pictures of the couple started circulating online. When the trio confronted Ned about his affair, he confirmed that this relationship had been “going on for some time.”
Eugene went on to explain the process that followed.
“Thus began a three-week process of engaging with employment lawyers, corporate lawyers, HR, PR and more in order to make sure we were taking all the necessary steps,” he explained. “We were acutely aware of just how contrary this was to the values of the company we’ve built and those of everyone who works here.
From here, Zach confirmed fan theories that the Try Guys had removed Ned from their recent videos and other work-related content.
“We also opted to remove Ned from new releases pending the results of that review”, Zach revealed. “There are several videos we’ve deemed fully unreleasable, you will never see them, and that is due to his involvement.”
They also urged social media users to respect the privacy of everyone involved, especially since a family is “at the centre of this.” Considering that the “internet has a tendency to be a lot harsher towards women than men,” Eugene also encouraged viewers to “exercise kindness.”
Zach concluded the video by thanking viewers for their constant support.
Ned’s marriage has been a major part of his brand since the beginning of The Try Guys. You only have to look as far as his Instagram bio – “aka @arielmfulmer‘s Husband” – to understand Ned’s reputation as the “wife-guy” of the group. With this in mind, most viewers were shocked by the cheating allegations, let alone the confirmation of the rumours.
Internet users have since taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the situation, with many praising the Try Guys’ decision to fire Ned.
@K3VlNRYAN went viral for writing, “the try guys collectively firing ned for cheating on his wife is such a power move im sorry this is modern feminism”.
Meanwhile, another Twitter user wrote, “Try Guys dropping Ned Fulmer for cheating on his wife and not just automatically sticking by their friend is what we like to see 👏👏”.
Ariel posted her own statement on Instagram, thanking viewers for their support and asking for privacy for the family during this time.
Check back for updates.