Earlier this month the YouTube channel DaddyOFive, led by husband and wife Mike and Heather Martin, came under fire after they were hit with allegations of child abuse. The channel’s “prank” videos were thrown into question for seemingly showing the Martin’s children being bullied by their parents, with them recording themselves screaming profanities at their kids while encouraging the siblings to gang up on one another.
After the channel’s videos were picked up by many media outlets and other prominent YouTubers, Mike and Heather first released a video in which they claimed that their antics were staged and “fake,” before releasing another video in which they apologized for their behavior and claimed that they were attending family counseling. Now they have appeared on Good Morning America in another attempt to explain the videos, with the hosts of the morning show confirming that police are investigating the family.
In the interview, Mike says that he is “ashamed” of the videos but that they started out as “family fun.” “Our YouTube channel is not a reflection of who we are,” Heather continued. “We were characters. It was a show; a bad show, but it was a show.”
“We did do pranks, but most of the time the kids knew about them and they were planned,” Heather continued. “Some stuff is real, some stuff was acted out, scripted … not every single time, some of it was acted. Some of it was.”
Mike then added that he thought becoming an e-celebrity would make his kids proud of him. “You got dads out there that are lawyers, and I’m not a lawyer. You got dads out there that are doctors, and I can’t do that. I felt like I’m not being a dad they deserve, I’m no hero to them, but then starting YouTube and seeing how happy these kids get when they get these views … I didn’t feel like [a hero]. I felt like I was a stay-at-home dad,” he concluded.
According to the report, the Mike and Heather are looking to change their style of content for their YouTube videos in the future, seemingly moving away from the prank videos that have garnered so much attention. Every video on their channel aside from their apology has been set to private, meaning that it isn’t available to be viewed. YouTube has also been deleting archived footage of the family’s videos shared by other YouTubers.
Watch the interview below: