YouTube fans are up in arms after ‘DaddyOFive’ star Mike Martin screamed and swore at his son Cody until he broke down in tears as part of a prank. The family is now upset that fans have reported them for abuse while insisting it was a joke, but if your 9-year-old is scared and sobbing, it’s just not funny.
If you’re anything like me, this is going to make your skin crawl. DaddyOFive is a popular YouTube channel with over 750,000 subscribers, but some of the content has recently gotten them national attention. The channel features Mike Martin along with his wife Heather Martin and their five kids, often playing pranks on one another. However, the most tortured of the family is Mike’s 9-year-old son Cody Martin. In a recent video called “Ink Prank” that has now been deleted, many fans feel that Mike and Heather took their joke too far.
The premise of the prank is simple: the parents drew on Cody’s bedroom floor with invisible ink, and pretended they thought he did it. However, their screaming and swearing at the child is what has garnered a lot of attention. “Get your f***ing a** up here!” Heather screams from his room. Cody already looks terrified as he rushes up the stairs. “What the f*** did you do?!” she demands. Cody quickly begins to cry, seeing the ink all over his room. “I didn’t do that!” he screeches, anguish oozing from his young face. “There you go f***ing lying again,” says his mom, ignoring his pleading cries. Even after his dad tells them it’s a prank and starts to laugh, Cody and his brother look worn out and exhausted, and definitely aren’t laughing along.
YouTube journalist Philip DeFranco brought attention to this video on April 17 and has made two more video since, noting that Cody has several behavioral issues that are likely caused by this kind of torment. This isn’t the first video they’ve done like this, either. For another prank, it appears that Cody was shoved into a shelf and started bleeding. In yet another video he’s left behind as the rest of the family goes to Disneyland.
The family is now furious that fans have begun reporting them to Child Protective Services for their behavior, insisting it was just a joke. As a matter of fact, Mike revealed that all of the videos are “fake” and “over-exaggerated,” and some are “scripted.” But are they? Are we supposed to believe that a 9-year-old is THIS good at acting like he truly believes his parents are mad? He’s sobbing, face red, tears streaming down his face. That looks like real emotion to me.
What happens to a child who grows up from such a young age, never being able to believe anything his parents say? A kid who has been emotionally exploited for clicks online and who is moved to tears on a frequent basis to gain fame for his family? All of the children have admitted that they know the pranks allow them to have nicer things from the money the videos earn, but is it worth it for the lasting mental damage they’re doing? I don’t think so.
Luckily, the family has heard the pleas of fans, saying in a new video on April 19 “we’re going to make things right. I want everyone to know that these kids are safe, this is all an act. I swear to god if we continue making videos, you will see changes. There will be no more fighting or hard pranks on the kids.” We sure hope so.
HollywoodLifers, do you think the pranks are all in good fun, or do they need to stop? Let us know!