Two parents who received backlash over videos they posted to their popular YouTube channels featuring vicious pranks against their own children have temporarily lost custody of two kids.
Michael and Heather Martin received hundreds of thousands of views for the videos posted to their YouTube channels “DaddyOFive” and “MommyOFive.” But things came undone quickly after Philip DeFranco, another popular Vlogger, shared a video highlighting some of the pair’s worse antics.
During one clip Michael is seen pushing Cody face first into a bookshelf.
In a separate clip from a since deleted post, Cody is filmed being viciously slammed on his head by his older step brother. The camera pans in as he cries out from the pain.
In another since deleted video, the father encourages his son to slap his sister and the child does so with a violent backswing. Once again, the father patiently films his daughter as she cries from being struck in the face.
The Martins would often verbally berate their kids in these so called “pranks.” In a recent video they placed invisible ink on the carpet and accused one of the kids, Cody, of making the mess. They scream at him at the top of their lungs with profanity and reckless abandon. Cody, who appears to receive the brunt of the “jokes” in the videos, breaks down weeping while he insists that he’s innocent.
The Martins, who appeared on Good Morning America last week and suggested that the videos were staged and that their children were merely acting, have now had two of the kids removed via an emergency order.
The Frederick County Maryland Sheriff’s Office has now confirmed to ABC News that Emma, 11, and Cody, 9, are now in the care of their biological mom, Rose Hall.
Hall posted a video alongside her attorney to YouTube in which they explained that she was given temporary custody of the two children. Hall thanked the people that had brought attention to the disturbing footage that featured her kids.
The Martins have followed up with a video in which they’ve attempted to apologize for all their actions that they’ve previously staunchly defended.
In light of all they’ve said and done up until this point, including stating that any harm done to their children was actually the fault of anyone who complained about what they posted, their apology comes across as hollow and insincere.