Mike Martin, them man behind the controversial YouTube channel DaddyOFive has lost custody of his children after a series of “prank” videos were deemed abusive. The videos in question netted the account over 800,000 followers and millions of views, but at what cost?
He recently apologized, but many are saying that his video response just wasn’t enough.
The “pranks” (I’m using that term very lightly) in question were often very traumatizing in nature, especially when you consider how young the recipients were. nine-year-old Cody was often the subject of these videos. He was convinced by his father that he would be put up for adoption, pitted against his larger, older step-brother, left out of a family vacation (we’ll talk about that in detail later) and shoved into a bookcase by Martin himself. One of the most noted “pranks” was the “Invisible Ink Prank,” where Heather Martin (also known as MommyOFive) spilled invisible ink all over Cody’s carpet in order to make him believe he did it, even though he didn’t. In the past, Cody had gotten ink on the floor, as I’m sure every nine-year-old has, but forcing a child to relive something they likely felt shame for is just not good parenting. The prank isn’t light in nature either, as both parents literally scream at Cody until he breaks down, clearly realizing that he has been wronged and has no power in the situation.
This video assessed the situation while using some of the more troubling clips.
In other “vlog” style videos ,the effects this treatment had on the children are is made very evident. It is revealed that Cody self-harms by scratching at his arm until it bleeds. Usually this is the point where a parent would show some kind of concern, but not DaddyOFive. Instead, he yells at Cody for “being bad” and shames him publicly, grabbing his arm to film the bandage.
On the topic of signs of abuse, in one video we learn that Cody is not allowed to go to Disney Land on the family vacation because he allegedly smeared feces all over the walls. In a video, Martin claimed that this was a lie to sensationalize the video, and that the real reason Cody was not allowed to go was something embarrassing and he did not wish to reveal. However, this does not make sense as the “cover story” couldn’t have been any better. It should also be stated that studies show that people who suffer from PTSD are more prone to this type of behavior.
All of the videos have been taken down from channel following the lawsuit removing the children from the parents’ custody. The only one left is an apology video uploaded about a week ago, which has already amassed over 2 million views. Emma and Cody have been returned to the custody of their biological mother, Rose Hall, who had been speaking out about the story prior to the removal of the children, hoping to bring attention to the situation. In an interview Crystal Reynolds, Rose’s sister, claimed that while visiting Mike’s current wife forged papers transferring custody of Cody to them, and gained custody of Emma two years later following false abuse accusations, although these allegations remain to be confirmed. While they’re not out of the dark yet, Rose says the two are doing good, and are “getting back to their playful selves.”
Let’s just hope that moving forward, these kids can find some sense of security and stability in their family lives, without cameras rolling.