Two of the three remaining Try Guys took to their TryPods podcast today to explain, according to member Keith Habersberger, “What we emotionally went through…our side of the experience for the last month.”
That experience was the very public removal of longtime member Ned Fulmer after they discovered that Fulmer, who is married, had an affair with an unnamed staffer. Further complicating things was the fact that his wife, Ariel Fulmer, hosts a podcast called You Can Sit With Us with the other members’ wives.
Titled “Ok, let’s talk about it,” today’s podcast featured Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld detailing just how overwhelming the news and reaction was for them as well as the decision not to replace Fulmer.
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“We processed this almost like a trauma,” Kornfeld explained. “It really rocked our word, but also the ramifications were so clear. I don’t think that I really ever stopped to emotionally process it. Even still, I don’t know that I have. Because it was just, ‘OK, we have to act.’ ”
He continued, “The fact that it was a transgression that was enacted publicly added a level of complication to this, where we knew that there was this stick of dynamite with an uncertain fuse. We knew that at any moment this could and would come out.”
When the news did come out, the attention was like nothing the remaining Try Guys had ever experienced — which is saying something for members of a YouTube channel with 8 million subscribers.
“We’ve had more eyeballs on us than ever,” said Kornfeld, before explaining he realized why controversial influencers are so popular. “Oh, that’s why people make this their career and lean hard into drama. What I’ve also learned is I want no f*cking part in it. We have prided ourselves for the last eight years on being undramatic boys, and I can’t wait to go back there. This whole f*cking circus is not interesting to me and not what I ever want to be defined as, as a creative person.”
“My entire Tik-Tok feed is about me,” he continued. “To open Tik-Tok for an escape, and get sucked down this rabbit hole of like investigative reporting” on himself was bizarre.
Speaking of unwanted attention, Habersberger said empathetically, “Really quickly, we want to talk about the other people involved in this. We’re not talking about Ned here, but there were other people effected by this scenario.
“In the Internet, especially in this drama, no matter what you do wrong, it’s really hard to say that this is an appropriate punishment. Like, imagine if everyone listening can imaging the time you f*cked up, because everyone’s f*cked up before…and you were number one trending on twitter and the New York Times was mentioning you and showing your picture, that’s really hard.”
The duo indicated that, in addition to the Gray Lady, they had been the subject of reporting by NPR, Rolling Stone and TMZ.
“It can just make you feel like no one in the world likes you anymore,” observed Habersberger.
“I know for a fact that people have received death threats over this,” said Kornfeld.
“It would be a lot for the strongest people,” Habersberger replied. “We are very sympathetic to those individuals because it’s a strong reaction to have to handle.”
Kornfeld said he had his own dark moments.
“I had these really visceral thoughts of, like, ‘Oh, my God, everything I’ve ever worked for is tainted.’ ”
“In the first two weeks,” he said, “I was fearful that this had jeopardized everything for us.”
Asked if their sanctions against Fulmer would have been different had the who affair not gone public, the answer was a resounding “No.”
Habersberger explained, “It betrayed our trust. It was a workplace violation. It would mean to all the people in our office who knew what they knew, that we were not true to everything we say we are and our values. Very simply, he would have been removed. It would not have been this public spectacle. We probably would have tried to avoid that for the sake of the other people involved.”
Speaking of whom, they indicated Ariel Fulmer is welcome back to You Can Sit With Us if she chooses to return.
“Ariel is one of our partners on that show and we’re going to give her some time to sit with it,” said Habersberger.