Staff Writer: Julian Cassady
Since 2014, The Try Guys have been delivering wholesome, controversy-free content on YouTube. The group is composed of four guys: Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, Zach Kornfeld, and Eugene Lee Yang.
The team makes videos about trying new things outside of their comfort zone like hang gliding, cooking without recipes, and even using a labor pain simulator.
Each Try Guy has their own manufactured image based on their US Tour titled “Legends of the Internet,” deeming themselves different “legends.” Keith is the legend of food. Ned the legend of love. Zach is the legend of fun. And Eugene is the legend of gay.
The Try Guys created their own production company, 2nd Try LLC, in 2018 and were able to publish content outside of the requirements from BuzzFeed, who owned the rights to The Try Guys’ intellectual property until their agreed-upon contract expired.
Since their break from BuzzFeed, The Try Guys have grown massively popular online.
As of October 6th, they have nearly 8 million subscribers.
Things have been going great for The Try Guys since they started their own company. This past September, they just premiered their first-ever TV show, No Recipe Road Trip, on Food Network (streaming on Discovery+).
For them, it felts like they were on top of the world, that is until one of the Guys got caught cheating on their wife in public.
On September 3rd, a Harry Styles concert was held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, where Ned Fulmer attended alongside a female staff member of The Try Guys company. A fan at the concert recognized Ned and the employee, Alex, and asked to take photos with them.
The user mentioned: “I got a selfie, Alex seemed annoyed that I recognized and was talking to them. It was just the two of them and didn’t see anyone else, but they might have joined people in seats. We thought if that were the case there would be some pics shared on social media and you kept your eyes open for them, but nobody posted anything.”
Fans were disturbed by this behavior from both Alex and Ned, especially since Ned has a wife and kids.
Ned, the legend of love, is known as the “wife guy” so this scandal came as a shocking surprise to the entire Try Guys fanbase. This juxtaposition of his image and his actions had a significant effect on propelling this controversy to viral status.
Within the following few weeks users on the subreddit r/thetryguys started to theorize about the night of the Harry Styles concert after photos were leaked of Ned and Alex kissing in an NYC nightclub. Redditors were able to connect the dots and identified that the male individual in the club photo was wearing the same shirt as Ned in the concert selfie.
Fans alerted Alex’s then fiancé to what was going on. And on September 26th he scrubbed all photos of him and Alex off his Instagram profile. Around this time, fans also recognized that Ned had been absent or edited out of Try Guys videos during all of September, raising suspicion and fueling the rampant rumor mill.
Eventually, the buzz surrounding the drama got addressed by The Try Guys team, who confirmed that it wasn’t a mistake that Ned had been absent from the past few videos.
Following this, the official Try Guys Instagram and both Ned and his wife Ariel made statements regarding the affair. Ned’s apology was met with harsh backlash from fans.
As of now, Ned Fulmer is no longer a member of The Try Guys and it is unclear whether Alex is still an employee of the company.
Ned’s actions are inexcusable, and he hurt many people both personally and professionally.
Additionally, a power imbalance is at play since Ned is Alex’s boss. This opens up Pandora’s Box of ethical and legal issues. It has been confirmed that an HR specialist has been brought in to do a thorough review of the company.
It is also important to note that Ned was known as the unofficial “HR guy” of the 2nd Try company.
He ruined his reputation on a global stage, where he had the power to make a positive impact on people’s lives through entertainment.
Not only did he sabotage his career, but he also destroyed the lives of both his wife and Alex’s fiancé.
The Try Guys will bounce back from this speed bump better than ever before. Recently the remaining “Guys” have made it clear that they want to use this controversy as a moment to change the way they do things.
I believe in The Try Guys and hope that they continue their road to success, especially with Ned no longer being a part of the group.