The YouTube channel DaddyOFive has been in the news this week after they were accused of abusing their children on camera, with their “prank” videos depicting them breaking their children’s possessions, screaming expletives at them and, in one instance, pushing one of their children face-first into a bookshelf. They have now claimed that these videos were faked, and that their children a
DaddyOFive, which is run by husband and wife Mike and Heather Martin, became the subject of controversy after a video titled ‘INVISIBLE INK PRANK (EPIC FREAKOUT)’ began doing the rounds online. The video shows Mike and Heather covering the floor of their son Cody’s bedroom with invisible ink, before framing him for the incident and screaming at him until he breaks down in tears. The video was picked up by popular YouTuber Phillip DeFranco, with the parents’ actions now being placed in the spotlight and many reporting their channel to YouTube, where they earn ad revenue from their videos.
Mike and Heather were subsequently interviewed on YouTuber Keemstar’s show ‘Drama Alert,’ with them then uploading a separate video titled ‘Family Destroyed Over False Aquisations [sic]’ in which they claimed that their videos were faked and “over-exaggerated.”
“In [Keemstar’s video] he asked me if the videos were real… I tip-toed around it because I was scared. But now I don’t care anymore,” Mike Martin said. “The videos are fake. They’re fake. They’re over-exaggerated, some videos are scripted, they’re just played out. The kids ideas, we act them out … we’ve said it’s their ideas. I’ve put in the descriptions ‘for entertainment purposes only.’ I’ve categorized the videos as entertainment or comedy … I’ve even used keywords sometimes. I’ve used the word ‘fake’ in the keywords and stuff a few times.”
He continued: “I never really came out and said we were fake because I was scared it’d kill our YouTube channel, because that kind of thing kills a YouTube channel and my kids love the YouTube channel, and we love our fans. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I didn’t want to let anyone down. We just wanted to make videos for you guys.” He later claims: “We’re not child abusers. The videos are fake, and everyone’s jumping on this hate wagon.”
Mike and Heather then go on to explain how the kids have been affected by the reaction to their videos (but not the videos themselves), with Mike saying that he is afraid of the reaction they’ll receive when they return to school. They also claim that they have been sent death threats, and that someone tried to run Heather off the road while the kids were inside her vehicle.
Though Mike and Heather say that some of their videos were faked and/or scripted, many have questioned this claim given how real their children’s reactions appear to be. Cody, who is routinely the target of these so-called “pranks,” is shown to be in a state of distress on multiple occasions, with him being filmed while both his parents and his siblings gang up on him. In one video he tells his father: “I hate this. I want everyone to leave me alone so I can calm down.”
Watch the video below (content warning for distressing footage):
DaddyOFive has prevented their video explaining how their pranks are “fake” from being embedded on external sites, but you can watch it here.